Bond Reduced for Man Who Threatened Valley Judge
MCALLEN – A man who threatened to kidnap a Rio Grande Valley judge back in September was granted a reduced bond.
Antonio Rodriguez III, 30, went before the 93rd District Judge Friday.
He's accused of making terroristic threats online.
According to the affidavits, Rodriguez took a picture of the vehicle of a visiting district court judge.
He then posted that photo onto his Instagram account with a message to kidnap the judge while complaining about child support payments.
Law enforcement discovered he had done this in September.
He was arrested in November after officers were able to verify he owned that social media account.
During Friday's hearing, a state prosecutor said when Rodriguez was arrested they found him wearing body armor, camouflage and a fake military badge. They also found a rifle in his truck.
Rodriguez is a veteran. His family was present at the hearing.
They expressed concerns with the judge about his mental well-being, after stating Rodriguez regularly wore (military and police style) uniforms and body armor, fearing someone was after him.
The attorney for the defendant and the affidavit both stated that Rodriguez and the judge did not know or recall each other.
The original bond was set at $500,000. Prior to the hearing, the prosecution and defense agreed to have it lowered to $50,000.
Rodriguez's attorney said the veteran was still unable to pay that bond, since he hasn't been working and does not have any savings.
The defense asked for a further bond reduction to $25,000.
It was granted with certain conditions.
Once released, Rodriguez will not have access to the internet, social media, his rifles or knives, and will be under house arrest.
His attorney also offered and committed to a psychological evaluation within 48 hours after Rodriguez's release.