James Terry Shelnutt who is facing federal weapons charges and two murder charges in Potter County. He failed to appear in court to face the weapons charges on Tuesday. He chose to instead skip bond and flee to Oklahoma.
Shelnutt was arrested during a traffic stop in Duncan, Oklahoma around three this morning. He is currently being held in the Stephen's County Jail, but he's expected to return to Potter County in the near future.
Despite being declared armed and dangerous, Shelnutt has been granted bond two times. Potter County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Roger Short says, "The bad guys are the ones who make the bad choices and this was a bad choice to take off and run."
Many wonder why this accused murderer had the opportunity to make that choice. The reason... Only a very limited number of circumstances allow for no bond to be granted, none of which apply to Shelnutt's case.
47th District Attorney Randall Sims says, "what generally everyone does is they just ask for higher bonds on those cases where you might think it's appropriate to ask for no bond." And that's exactly what Sims is doing... He's requested Shelnutt's bond be raised to $2 million for each murder case.
Ron Green with Allstate Bail Bonds says, "There's very few bond companies who will take a chance and put all their dominos on one man for one million dollars. That's risking your livelihood so it's not likely anyone would get him out."
During a bond hearing, a judge looks at several factors before deciding to accept or deny the DA's request. Sims says, "They look at a defendant's works record, criminal history, how long have they been in the community, potential danger to society."