An informant’s tip led sheriff’s deputies Monday to a bail jumper who is charged in the Jan. 14 robbery and shooting of a Lake Brownwood man.
Deputies said they arrested Stephonze Rea Balfour, 19, on a warrant for failure to appear in court after finding him walking in an alley in north Brownwood. His bond has been set at $150,000.
Balfour was a no-show Thursday in 35th District Court, where he was to appear in a bond hearing related to the robbery and wounding of Andrew Shawn Prewitt, 38.
Balfour was free on $50,000 bond on the robbery charge when Brownwood police arrested him on May 19 on a misdemeanor drug charge, sheriff’s investigator Jimmy Simpson said. He said prosecutors intended to seek a higher bond for Balfour because of the marijuana arrest.
Balfour was one of three men indicted in the Jan. 14 robbery and shooting in a Shamrock Shores trailer, which Simpson has said was drug-related.
Also indicted were Balfour’s cousin, Kristopher Balfour, 19, and Phillip Johnson, 23.
Simpson said deputies had received tips before Thursday’s scheduled hearing that Stephonze Balfour might skip court, wait for his pregnant girlfriend to get out of jail and leave town with her. When Balfour didn’t show for court, Simpson said, he was worried that it might take months to find him.
Instead, someone called Simpson around 1:30 p.m. Monday and said Balfour was in a house at the corner of Cleburne and Peach, Simpson said. Deputies went to the home with the arrest warrant. A woman in the home said Balfour was there previously but, she said, she ordered him out after learning he was a fugitive, Simpson said.
Balfour was actually in a nearby home, and he came outside, climbed a fence and began walking briskly down an alley, Simpson and other deputies said.
Deputy David Varner began following Balfour in his patrol car, and investigator John Moody ran after him on foot. Balfour obeyed Moody’s commands to stop and identify himself, and he was arrested without incident, deputies said.
In the Jan. 14 robbery, Prewitt was shot in the upper thigh when two men with guns forced their way into the trailer where Prewitt lived with his roommate, Eddie Jowers, 39, deputies have said.
Simpson has said he believes three men went to the trailer where Prewitt and Jowers lived intending to steal money and drugs.
He said Jowers was the target and the men didn’t know Prewitt, who had recently moved into the trailer, was present.