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Lawmaker: Families of Methodist Hospital shooting victims deserve apology from Gov. Abbott

By J.D. MILES

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    NORTH TEXAS (KTVT) — A North Texas lawmaker says the families of the victims of the Methodist Hospital shooting deserve an apology from Governor Greg Abbott.

State Representative Rafael Anchia says the governor’s budget decisions created a shortage of prison guards which has resulted in more violent offenders being released with ankle monitors.

When Nestor Henandez was arrested by Carrollton police over the summer for cutting off his ankle monitor, the paroled violent offender served only 100 days behind bars before being fitted with a new one.

He was released instead of going back to prison to serve the remainder of his eight year sentence for aggravated robbery.

State Representative Rafael Anchia believes it’s because of a shortage of prison guards.

“We have the jail capacity, what we don’t have are prison guards, because we’ve raided the [Texas Department of Criminal Justice] funds in the legislature to pay for the governor’s pet projects,” Anchia said.

As of Oct. 1, Texas had 123,615 prisoners incarcerated with a capacity of 133,467.

That means there is room for more than 9,800 additional prisoners, according to numbers obtained by CBS 11 News.

Anchia says they show that the state has prison space.

But he says the governor used money to hire more guards instead for border security.

“We don’t pay our prison guards enough, because the governor has redirected this money to this border security stuff and that’s why this guy was probably on an ankle monitor when he should’ve been in prison,” he said.

Reports say there was a 40% turnover in state correctional officers last year alone.

Today, the state auditor received Anchia’s official letter demanding an investigation into the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and the breakdowns that allowed Hernandez to enter Methodist Hospital wearing his ankle monitor before allegedly shooting and killing two medical workers.

Anchia accuses the board and the governor of hiding from accountability.

“If I’m Governor Abbott, I want heads to roll at this point,” Anchia said. “I’m calling for people who made these decisions, my hand-picked team, to step down, none of that has happened.”

We learned today that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is urgently working to trace the gun that was used.

As for Hernandez, who’s jailed and charged with capital murder, he isn’t going anywhere without posting a bond of at least $6 million.

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