Kyle murder suspect’s bond increased after threatening to ‘kill Muslims’

A Kyle man indicted for his girlfriend’s murder in March 2016 had his bond increased to $500,000 after he not only violated his bond conditions, but also allegedly threatened to “kill Muslims.” 

James Craig Keen, 50, who was originally indicted for felony murder June 22, 2016 with a bail amount set at $250,000, had his bond increased to $500,000, according to documents filed with the Hays County District Clerk’s office.

Keen had been bailed out of the Hays County Jail July 15, 2016 for the alleged murder of Erin Wright, whom he is accused of shooting on his front lawn on March 23, 2016.

Keen was re-booked into the Hays County Jail June 12.

According to documents, the State requested the increase due to Keen violating the conditions of his previous bond requirements.

On June 5, Ross Smith, a friend of Keen’s who said he speaks with him several times a week, gave information to the state that Keen was allegedly using marijuana, which is in violation of his bond requirements. Keen allegedly had plans to evade a drug test.

Smith also advised that Keen had allegedly threatened to “kill Muslims” and said he had a way to do it. He also had a way to obtain weapons with another person “as passionate about it as he is” to help him.

According to documentation, Smith said Keen allegedly stated that he would rather “go out on the blade of glory” rather than being sent to the penitentiary.”

Smith also told the state that prior to the alleged murder of Wright, Keen had allegedly told Smith he was going to kill the victim, but Smith did not entirely believe him.

According to court documentation, Keen has a history of violent confrontations. In July 2005, Keen was charged with Assault Bodily Injury in Tarrant County after he admitted “he slapped” Wright.

According to the indictment, Keen did knowingly or intentionally cause the death of Erin Wright by shooting her with a firearm on March 26. An indictment is not an admittance of guilt, but is a formal accusation made by a grand jury.

According to a probable cause affidavit, a Kyle Police officer was dispatched to Grant Way in Kyle at 7:50 p.m. March 26 and encountered a neighbor who informed him that a woman, later identified as Wright, had been shot.

The neighbor said she and her husband were in their front yard with three children who live in the home on Grant Way.

After the officer directed the neighbor and the children away, he saw Keen through the front windows of the residence on a cell phone.

The officer observed a woman, later identified as Wright, in the driveway of the residence.

According to the affidavit, Keen, a self employed electrical contractor, was inside the house and abruptly walked out the front door and handed the officer a cell phone saying, “talk to my grandfather.”

According to the arresting affidavit, Field said Keen “appeared to be agitated, making erratic movements with his arms and breathing rapidly.”

Field then placed Keen in handcuffs and stayed with Wright until EMS arrived at 7:58 p.m.

According to the arresting affidavit, Field alleged Wright still had a pulse.

Two of the three children in the home made voluntary statements to paramedics that “mommy and daddy were arguing” and that an argument had escalated into Keen allegedly getting a firearm.

Keen allegedly told authorities that he and Wright were arguing, and that after he asked her to leave, she refused and he locked her out of the house.

According to the affidavit, Keen alleged that Wright continued to argue and began to kick the front door. Keen said he felt threatened by Wright kicking the door and went to get his gun. However, he did not say anything further.

Wright was pronounced dead at the scene by Hays County Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Beth Smith.

Currently, an arraignment is scheduled for July 27 at 9 a.m.

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