41-year-old murder suspect becomes wanted fugitive after million-dollar bond is substantially lowered, freed

UPDATE: After our story aired, we discovered Michael Richardson is being held at an ICE facility in Conroe.
It's not clear yet why federal authorities are detaining him.


ORIGINAL STORY: The District Attorney's Office asked the court to deny Michael Richardson bond stating he's a danger to the future safety of the community. 

Still Richardson got bond, but then failed to show back up to court.

SUGGESTED: Ex-con serving probated sentence for assault gets bond set at $15,000 after he allegedly kills someone

Since 1999, Richardson has been in and out of county jails and prisons.

"He has at least seven felony convictions," said Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers. "He just finished serving a 2-year stint for felon in possession of a weapon in TDCJ."

Richardson was out of jail on bond for a new charge of felon in possession of a weapon when police say he shot and killed 53-year-old Gregory Wiltz on January 26, 2021.

It happened on Delaware at Fidelity on the east end. Richardson allegedly shot Wiltz to death while he sat in his vehicle.

Wiltz was popular store owner.

"Who evidently everybody knew, he was called a beloved figure in the neighborhood," Kahan said.

SUGGESTED: 61-year-old Good Samaritan fatally stabbed allegedly at the hands of convicted felon free from jail on PR bond

The day after the murder, police say Richardson committed an armed robbery.

"The aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon charge, his bond was originally set at $500,000," said Kahan. "His bond was originally set for the murder at $500,000."

But 232nd Criminal District Court Judge Josh Hill would drop those high bond amounts substantially. Richardson wrote a letter to Judge Josh Hill pleading with him to reduce his bond amounts.

"He says I've got $6,000 saved. If you can lower the bond, that would be a big help to me," Kahan said.

In the letter, Richardson promised Judge Hill he wouldn't let him down. Of course, we don't know if the letter had anything to do with it, but Hill did lower Richardson's million-dollar bond to $400,000.

He walked out of jail last July, and he didn't keep his promise to the judge.

SUGGESTED: Convicted felon accused of violently attacking mother 24 hours after jail release

After violating his bond conditions several times, Richardson failed to appear in court last month.

"It's a danger to our citizens. They know at some point they're going to have to face up to their actions, and we have to go get them," said Houston Police Officer's Union President Douglas Griffith.

Wanted fugitives, like Richardson, are one of the most dangerous encounters for law officers.

"Oh, most definitely," Griffith said. "They don't have anything to lose. We don't know who we are stopping out on traffic, we don't know who we are approaching when we get those calls. We have to go out there and deal with these guys."

SUGGESTED: Man with multiple charges of harassing, stalking same woman free on bond with repeated bond violations

If you know where Michael Richardson is, call Crime Stoppers.

So how many others like him are out there? Who knows because no one in the Harris County Criminal Justice System keeps track.