STILLWATER, Okla. –An Oklahoma bail bond agent who was charged with murder after she fatally shot a man she was trying to take into custody was found not guilty of the charges. In August, 41-year-old Chasity Carey, of Signature Bail Bonds in Stillwater, called 911 saying she had just shot a man, identified as 38-year-old Brandon James Williams. When officers arrived, Williams was found dead at the scene. Police said Williams was arrested in late July 2017 and charged with three counts of second-degree burglary, as well as possession of marijuana. He was released from jail on Aug. 1 on a $35,000 bond, which was posted by Chasity Carey.
Carey reportedly told officers she had called Williams to her office that morning with the intent of taking him into custody to revoke his bond and deliver him back to the Payne County Sheriff’s Office. Brandon Williams shot to death by bail bonds agent Chasity Carey at Signature Bail Bonds in Stillwater Carey told investigators a fight broke out between her and Williams during the meeting and she shot Williams in self-defense. However, police said witness statements, evidence at the scene and video evidence contradict Carey’s version of the event. Investigators don’t believe the shooting was a justifiable act of self-defense. Carey was arrested and charged with one count of first-degree murder. During her trial this week, the jury watched the video of the shooting and began deliberating the case on Friday. According to the Stillwater News Press, Carey was found not guilty of first-degree murder.
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A bail bondsman, bail bondsperson, bail bond agent or bond dealer is any person, agency or corporation that will act as a surety and pledge money or property as bail for the appearance of persons accused in court. Although banks, insurance companies and other similar institutions are usually the sureties on other types of contracts (for example, to bond a contractor who is under a contractual obligation to pay for the completion of a construction project), such entities are reluctant to put their depositors’ or policyholders’ funds at the kind of risk involved in posting a bail bond. Bail bond agents, on the other hand, are usually in the business to cater to criminal defendants, often securing their customers’ release in just a few hours.
Bail bond agents are almost exclusively found in the United States and its former commonwealth, the Philippines. In most other countries the practice of bounty hunting is illegal. The industry is represented by various trade associations, with the (PBUS) Professional Bail Agents of the United States and the American Bail Coalition forming an umbrella group in the United States. The first modern bail bonds business in the U.S. was established by Peter P. McDonough in San Francisco in 1898. However, clay tablets from ca. 2750 BC describe surety bail bond agreements made in the Akkadian city of Eshnunna what is today modern Iraq. Citizens were released from jail by having an indemnitor pay a sum in currency and to pledge the defendant will show up to court backed by the indemnitor’s property such as his sheep.