SMITH COUNTY, TX - It's a question people have been asking ever since police say Dabrett Black shot and killed DPS trooper Damon Allen on Thanksgiving.
There was a warrant out for Black's arrest so why was he not in jail?
Judge Cynthia Kent, now working as an attorney, says it's a process.
It starts with a grand jury returning an indictment. In Black's case that happened on October 5th of this year. It can also include recommendations in the case.
From there it goes to a judge who may or may not set a new bond. The judge set a $200,000 bond per charge for Black on October 30th with a warrant for his arrest. It can a few days for the warrant to show up in the system.
The Smith County Sheriff's office said it was in the system on November 7th.
From there law enforcement start to execute the warrant.
Judge Kent says even with the last known addresses of a suspect it can take time to actually find them.
"They (law enforcement) may have come by his house 2, 3, 4, 5, 15 times but he wasn't there." Judge Kent said.
The Sheriff's office said there is no way to track the number of attempts officials have made to execute a warrant.
Hundreds of warrants are issued every month, adding up to thousands every year. These warrants aren't just for a felony either. Judge Kent says there's also warrants issued for misdemeanors, traffic violations, and even parking violations.
It can take weeks, months, even years in extreme cases to execute a warrant.
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