There will be no Six Flags vacation for murder suspect Michael Zarate — at least, not any time soon.
    Zarate,  34, told 35th District Judge Steve Ellis during a bond reduction hearing Friday that he’d like to go to Six Flags — if Ellis would lower his $650,000 bonds to an amount he could make and get out of jail.
    Ellis, while not addressing Zarate’s request for a Six Flags interlude, denied defense attorney Tommy Adams’ motion for a bond reduction, noting several factors including community safety.
    Prosecutor Elisha Bird, arguing against a bond reduction, presented Ellis with evidence including records of Zarate’s lengthy criminal history and his difficult and sometimes violent behavior during his 2 1/2 years in the Brown County Jail.
    Zarate is scheduled to stand trial for murder on Sept. 11 in the November 2014 shooting death of Ernesto Gonzales Jr. in Brownwood.
    In addition to murder, Zarate has pending cases of aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child.
    The murder case has had numerous delays in getting to trial as Zarate has been allowed to fire his previous three lawyers — Adams is his fourth — and spent time in a state hospital after he was found incompetent to stand trial. Zarate has regained competency, Ellis ruled earlier, citing psychiatric reports.
    Ellis said he won’t take kindly to any more delays and asked the defense and the prosecution if they need to take up any more pre-trial issues before the trial date. At Adams’ request, Ellis set aside a day in early August to hear motions Adams plans to file.
    Adams called Zarate to the stand to answer questions related only to his bond, but Adams had to tell Zarate several times to stop talking as he started to go off-topic during Bird’s cross-examination.
    Zarate, who has never been married, said he was raised in Toledo, Ohio, where three sisters and a brother still live. Zarate said his grandparents live in Brownwood and he’s lived here since 2008.
    When Adams asked Zarate how he’s done in jail, Zarate replied, “pretty good.”
    Bird asked Zarate on cross-examination if he’d ever threatened to have a jailer killed.  Zarate answered several ways before saying “yes,” and then said, “technically I never threatened to kill him.”
    “Quit talking about it Michael, please,” Adams pleaded.
    Jail Lt. Melanie Dees, testifying for the prosecution, disagreed with Zarate’s description of himself as a good inmate.
    “As an inmate he’s been not cooperative on many occasions,” Dees said, using words including “mouthy,” confrontational,” and “disagreeable.”
    “For the most part he doesn’t get along with other inmates,” Dees said.
    She said an altercation with a jailer sent both Zarate and the jailer to the hospital, and said said later the jailer would be dead.
    “There’s no evidence that he takes any of this seriously,” Bird told Ellis.