A court released a Texas man on bond over concerns that the material important for his case could be among the stockpile of police data that went missing from the Dallas department’s computer system earlier. The man was scheduled this week for trial on a murder charge.
The prosecutors of the case appealed to a Dallas County judge to delay the trial of Jonathan Pitts and grant him bond as they were working with police to find out whether the materials of the case were a part of the information that was recently lost from the computer systems of the police department, while an employee was moving the data from a computer network drive.
Whether Pitts would be let out of jail was not immediately clear.
Pitts was charged with shooting Shun Handy in 2019. The granting of bond to Pitts was a wake-up call for the authorities as they got busy determining how many cases could have their evidence lost in the data loss, whose size was about eight-terabyte.
Judge Ernie White was informed by the prosecutors that they needed additional time for coordinating with the police to audit the materials of Pitt’s case and to know whether any of the materials were lost in the data loss.
The police department said in a statement that the homicide detective on Pitt’s case was contacted by the district attorney’s office for confirming whether all evidence was available for the trial, who said that he needed more time to confirm the availability of the evidence.
However, according to police, the detective could only confirm the presence of all the evidence by 9:50 a.m. on Thursday and till then a motion of continuance had to be filed by the district attorney’s office.
“All the evidentiary items and data are available for prosecution on this murder case,” Police Sgt. Warren Mitchell later said.