Judge keeps bond at $1M for suspect in rapper Takeoff's murder despite attorney's request

A judge ruled that previous statements made by the suspect indicate that he can pay $1 million.

ByJeff Ehling, Chaz Miller KTRK logo
Thursday, December 29, 2022
Takeoff killed: Judge keeps bond at $1M for Patrick Clark, charged with murder in Migos rapper's murder, despite attorney's plea
Patrick Clark's attorneys expected his bond to be reduced to $300,000, but the judge ruled that previous statements made by the suspect indicate that he can pay $1 million.

HOUSTON, Tx. -- Despite expectations from attorneys, the man accused of killing Migos rapper Takeoff will remain in jail on a $1 million bond.

A Texas judge made the decision during a bond reduction hearing on Wednesday morning.

"We're very surprised by [that decision,]" said Patrick Clark's attorney, Letitia Quinones, during a press conference.

ABC13 in Houston reported on Tuesday that 33-year-old Clark could be out of custody within 24 to 48 hours if his attorneys completed a few more requests coming from the judge. However, a different decision was made.

Clark was not in the courtroom on Wednesday. Instead, his attorney and the prosecutor appeared over Zoom in a conference with the judge.

Clark's bail was originally set at $2 million, but defense attorneys argued that amount was unconstitutional because he could not afford it. Hill ruled to reduce the amount to $1 million during a previous court appearance, but some discussions said even that reduced amount would be out of reach for Clark.

"A couple of weeks ago, the judge laid out some conditions and requirements he wanted the defense to meet," Quinones said on lowering the bond. "We believe we've satisfied each one of those requirements."

However, on Tuesday, Hill ruled that previous statements made by Clark indicated that he could pay a $1 million bail and that there are bail bond companies that would take on that risk. For that reason, the judge denied the request to lower the bond to $300,000, keeping it at $1 million.

The judge said defense attorneys could appeal the decision if they like, which would give him the ability in the future to reduce bail if needed.

"We plan to take every remedy available by law for Mr. Clark," she said. "It's the high-profile nature of this case that's really affected the constitutional rights of Mr. Clark."

Meanwhile, the judge said that Clark's passport card was surrendered to the court Wednesday, the judge said.

Clark's attorney said the suspect's family is willing to put up their Houston-area home as collateral to bond him out of jail. In addition, the whole family will co-sign a bond issued by a bondsman if lowered, which Mark Metze, a bail bondsman, said the family has already taken care of.

Prosecutors raised concerns that Clark wasn't being upfront about all his financial assets. They think he has much more money than he claims.

The judge asked Clark to turn in his passport card and also would like to assign him GPS monitoring through a specific bond company that would immediately notify if bond conditions are violated.

Hill said he believes Clark may be a flight risk and requested a deep dive into the suspect's personal finances. He wants to understand why Clark cannot post bond, yet was recorded on a jail phone call saying the $2 million was doable.

Kirsnick Khari Ball, known professionally as Takeoff, was shot to death in the early morning hours of Nov. 1 outside a bowling alley in downtown Houston. Police said he was in a crowd of people and an innocent bystander near an argument over a dice game.

Detectives on the case allege Clark had a gun in one hand and a wine bottle in another when he was caught on camera firing his weapon. Those bullets allegedly struck Takeoff.

Fingerprints on that wine bottle are what detectives say helped identified Clark to authorities.

They went on to say that Clark searched for information about the case online and also searched his name and age in relation to the case. His attorney claims he did not know he was the prime suspect in the rapper's death.

The state says Clark planned to flee to Mexico after obtaining an expedited passport. Prosecutors believe he is also a danger to the community.

Jim Willis, a private investigator who was hired on Clark's team, said the ticket to Mexico was canceled a few days before Clark was arrested. The suspect was allegedly taking that trip with his sister and her friends.

During a previous bond reduction hearing, a timeline detailing Clark's efforts to obtain the expedited passport was laid out. His father testified that this past summer, the family discussed taking a trip together, but he became ill, so they did not go.

A receipt entered into evidence dated Sept. 6 showed that Clark's father paid to obtain a copy of his and his son's birth certificates. A birth certificate is required to obtain a passport.

On Nov. 21, Clark purchased a Southwest flight to Cancun, according to Willis. A flight itinerary is required to obtain an expedited passport. Detectives on the case claim he searched online for fake plane tickets prior to purchasing a real one, which they flagged as a cause for concern.

After requesting the expedited passport, authorities testified that on Nov. 29, Clark canceled his flight.

On Dec.1, authorities arrested Clark after learning he had picked up the passport, authorities arrested Clark.

Clark's defense team claimed he was trying to lease an apartment in the days before his arrest, raising the question of whether this was an act someone who is trying to flee the country would do.

In a search warrant, police cited video and forensic evidence that led to the murder charge against Clark.

Read the full warrant below: