One thing was clear following a hearing Thursday morning in 35th District Court: Randall Philen, who is charged in the Dec. 11, 2009 shooting death of his brother, is not getting out of jail any time soon.
District Judge Steve Ellis denied defense attorney John Lee Blagg's request to lower Philen's bonds that total $165,000 to an amount Philen or his family can make. Philen, 52, of Brownwood, remains in the Brown County jail on charges of murder, with a bond of $150,000, and possession of marijuana, with a bond of $15,000.
What was unclear was when Philen's trial will take place. It is scheduled for Aug. 29, but Blagg filed a motion for continuance Thursday morning, citing "recently discovered evidence." Ellis did not take up the continuance Thursday but scheduled an Aug. 22 hearing on the matter.
Philen's brother Ronald was 49 when he was shot in the chest in the home the two shared at 1606 Ninth St.
During Thursday's hearing, Blagg asked Ellis to either grant his client a personal recognizance bond or reduce his surety bond total to $10,000. Blagg argued that Philen is not a flight risk. He also said Philen had surgery in June and needs to be out of jail to gain his strength to prepare for trial. Philen, who has driven trucks and worked in construction, has job opportunities and wants to go to work, Blagg told Ellis.
It is obvious that Philen is physically weak, and pale from being in jail and out of the sunlight for 20 months, Blagg said.
Prosecutor Tommy Adams did not put on evidence, but responded "yes" when Ellis asked if Adams wanted the court to take "judicial notice" of testimony in previous bond hearings.
Adams offered a brief argument, saying the court had believed bonds totaling $165,000 were appropriate when Philen was indicted in February 2010, and that nothing had changed to warrant reducing those bonds.
As Ellis prepared to rule, he told Blagg that much of Blagg's argument was not supported by evidence. "He's not any paler than you are, and I'm looking at both of you," Ellis said.
" ... Your motions are denied. The bonds will remain the same."