A judge on Friday substantially lowered the bail of a Texas woman accused of killing her husband — and an attorney for the man’s family claims it’s all because of the “affluenza effect.”
Judge Scott Becker reduced the bond for Morgan Leigh Sims, 33, from $1.5 million to $140,000, prompting attorney Craig Watkins, who represents relatives of Daray Vontrell Sims, to allege that the “affluenza effect” drove his decision, the Dallas Morning News reports.
Wife suspected of gunning down hubby told cops he was abusive
A Texas woman accused of gunning down her husband of…
“We see it when a person of color is killed by someone who is Anglo,” Watkins said.
The loaded “affluenza” term was coined in nearby Tarrant County when 16-year-old Ethan Couch was given 10 years’ probation after killing four people in a drunken-driving wreck in 2013. A psychologist testified for his defense team that Couch suffered from “affluenza” and couldn’t tell right from wrong due to his wealthy, coddled upbringing.
Couch was released from jail last month after serving nearly two years in jail for fleeing to Mexico after the deadly crash.
Watkins, meanwhile, said Becker should have kept Morgan Sims’ bond as it was, or reduce it slightly, citing that police found her in possession of her passport, a semi-automatic pistol believed to have been used in shooting Daray Sims and more than $9,000 in cash when they took her into custody last month.
Daray Sims, a 37-year-old former football player at Abilene Christian Unviersity, was found on the bathroom floor, which was covered in “copious amount of blood,” inside the couple’s home in McKinney after a caller notified police about a disturbance there, according to court records.
Morgan Sims later told a deputy that she had been abused by her husband, which caused her to defend herself. She then declined to say anything else and requested an attorney.
Watkins, meanwhile, noted that Morgan Sims could be freed from jail by paying $14,000 if she pays a bail bondsman the standard 10 percent.
An attorney for Morgan Sims disputed the “affluenza” characterization, saying the judge considered all facts of the case prior to lowering the bail.
“I don’t understand what Mr. Watkins means by affluenza,” attorney Toby Shook said. “Obviously, Morgan Sims told police she was abused by the deceased. And the investigator admitted there were injuries to Ms. Sims’ face and arms when she was taken into custody.”
Daray Sims, according to Dallas County court records, was arrested in 2014 on suspicion of assault-family violence in DeSoto, where a grand jury ultimately declined to indict him.
The couple celebrated their seventh anniversary last month, according to Morgan Sims’ Facebook profile.
“I wouldn’t want to do this thing called life without you,” she wrote on April 10. “We have built a lot together in these years and I am blessed to have done it with you. Marriage and parenting is work, compromise, sacrifice, teamwork, but most importantly love. It’s not always sunshine, but if you can weather the storms together it’s all worth it.”
Morgan Sims remained in custody at the Collin County Detention Center on charges of murder and child endangerment as of Friday, jail records show.