The Corpus Christi man who was caught on surveillance video showing him in the act of a brutal assault, made his first court appearance on Tuesday.
Victor Perez, 23, surrendered to authorities five days after the assault, and has been in the Nueces County Jail ever since. In the meantime, 25-year old Erik Schwirtlich, the victim in the assault, remains hospitalized with serious brain damage.
Perez' attorney asked 94th District Court Judge Bobby Galvan to reduce his $200,000 bond. Both sides, prosecutors and the defense, presented witnesses, including Perez' mother, who said her son had never been in trouble with the law before this incident.
After all the testimony, Judge Galvan lowered Perez' bond to $50,000.
The victim's family is upset. They say it's just not right that, while Perez will probably be out on the streets, their son will be in intensive rehabilitation to learn how to walk and talk again.
"Very, very, very upset," said Donnie Schwirtlich, the victim's father. "It's like they're concerned about his problems and their family's concerns, and you know, I got the silly idea that we should be worried about the community and stuff. I'm about to take my son to go talk and walk."
Judge Galvan lowered Perez' bond from $200,000 to $50,000 because of the nature of the assault, and because the defendants ties to the community, he is not considered a flight risk. The judge also said that this case was similar to another incident that also landed in his court, where the district attorney had suggested a lesser bond.
"I will note that the last murder case that we tried in here, the DA's office recommended a $50,000 bond, and I accepted that," Galvan said. "And that case was quite similar to the one that we have now, quite frankly, except that after the punch, the person died at the location."
Schwirtlich's family will be transporting him to Houston on Tuesday to begin intensive rehabilitation.