DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Brian Maurice Fuller considered the mastermind of a violent attack one year ago that rocked North Dallas. But admitted breakdowns in the justice system have now led to a new search for a man who authorities had in custody.
Fuller and another man were arrested for the beating of a Highland Park woman who was robbed of an expensive ring.
Fuller is now on the run, but who is to blame?
A few seconds of pain and terror led to months of recovery and reconstruction for Jil Katz. “My head was slammed into the concrete.”
One year after she was beaten and robbed of a 7.5-carat diamond ring in the parking lot of a North Dallas Grocery store, Katz has seen her broken face heal. The 54-year-old has also seen the face of the man police say orchestrated the crime.
Brian Maurice Fuller was arrested in Wichita Falls last February, along with Timothy Eric Walters, who is accused of committing the robbery.
But when Fuller was brought to Dallas six months later, a magistrate lowered his bond from $500,000 to $50,000 despite a long criminal history, outstanding warrants and a probation violation.
“Of course he quickly got out of jail on the low bond and hasn’t been seen since,” said Dallas Police spokesman Cpl. Kevin Janse, “That’s definitely the last thing the police department wanted.”
Katz is equally frustrated by the release. “I don’t know who to blame but I know that I do feel that it was absolutely wrong.”
The magistrate who set Fuller’s original $500,000 bail says his name simply didn’t ring a bell when he passed through months later, and had it lowered to $50,000.
The magistrate, Dorothy Shead, admitted that it was a mistake. “I set the original bond and he shouldn’t have been released, it breaks my heart but it was a flaw in the system.”
Shead says that flaw is the lack of a prosecutor or detective in her courtroom at all times to help monitor the dozens of inmates she arraigns every day.
To Katz, that’s an unacceptable excuse. “I do feel something happened and the system failed.”
Police say Katz wasn’t the first woman Fuller and his associates beat up for a diamond and as long as he’s free they fear she won’t be the last.
Katz says now she couldn’t care less about the ring, reportedly valued at nearly $100,000, and that justice is more valuable than jewelry.
Police believe fuller is still in the Dallas or Wichita Falls area and falsely telling people he’s working as an informant.