Breckenridge Texan

Stabbing victim remains hospitalized, suspect still in jail

November 07
13:47 2017

At least one Breckenridge victim remains hospitalized Tuesday morning, following a Friday night stabbing, and his attacker is still in the Stephens County Jail on $1.075 million bond, awaiting a hearing with District Judge Stephen Bristow later this week.

Ben Carlos “B.C.” Acosta, 34, of Breckenridge was arrested Friday night, Nov. 3, on multiple charges related to two separate alleged knife attacks that injured four people, including his 38-year-old girlfriend and three apparent strangers.

According to police reports, Acosta first stabbed his girlfriend before attacking the others two hours later. When the police were called to Stephens Memorial Hospital, where the first victim was taken, she was uncooperative with the officers, Breckenridge Police Chief Larry Mahan said.

“We developed him as a suspect. With her not saying who did it, we were looking for him to visit with him, to see what he’d say, but, of course, he was running and hiding from us,” Mahan said.

The second incident took place in the Allsup’s parking lot on West Walker Street when the 45-year-old man, his 40-year-old wife and her 16-year-old son stopped to get gas. At least two accounts of Friday night, indicate that Acosta allegedly attempted to get into an occupied vehicle in the parking lot. When that failed, he reportedly turned to the 45-year-old man, who had just arrived at the gas pumps, and began stabbing him. He also has been accused of stabbing the man’s wife and stepson.

“He just walked over and started stabbing the guy,” Mahan said. “(The victim) went into the Allsup’s and asked them to call the police. When we got there, Acosta was standing in the middle of the parking lot.”

Acosta also reportedly resisted arrest and kicked an officer in the face as he was being detained.

The BPD has said that the 40-year-old woman and her son were treated and released from SMH. Acosta’s girlfriend and the 45-year-old victim were transported by ambulance to a hospital in Abilene. On Tuesday morning, the male victim was still in the hospital. No information was available on the condition or location of the first victim.

The Breckenridge Police Department and the Breckenridge Texan are declining to identify the victims at this time, out of respect for their privacy.

The Allsup’s corporate office declined to comment on the incident.

Charges
Despite one uncooperative victim, the BPD charged Acosta with:

  • Aggravated assault-family violence with a deadly weapon – a first degree felony;
  • Three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon – a second degree felony;
  • Assault on public servant – a third degree felony;
  • And, resisting arrest or transport – a Class A misdemeanor.

Bond hearing
Stephens County Justice of the Peace Michael Roach set Acosta’s bond on Sunday at the jail. On all six charges he faces, the bonds total $1,075,000.

“Some people have been wondering why I even set a bond at all,” Roach said Monday afternoon. “Only a district judge – under special circumstances – has a right to deny anybody bail. And, there is a part in the criminal code of procedure that lines that out, what those things are. And, so as a JP, or even as a county judge or city judge, we have no discretion over being able to set a no-bond on anybody. We just can’t do it.”

Roach said that there are two factors he considers when setting a bond:  the defendant’s ability to pay and the future risk to the community.

“So, you really have to take it to the circumstances of the individual as best you can,” he said. “$100,000 bond to me versus Bill Gates would be two totally different things.”

Regarding the future risk to the community, Roach said that is determined not just by the current charge but also by the suspect’s previous conduct, if it’s known.

“That’s why most misdemeanors are low, and then when you get on the high end of felonies – second degree and first degree felonies – those are usually higher because of the alleged nature of the offense,” he said. “In this particular case, I had to consider the fact that this gentleman had been incarcerated one time before for a violent offense that he was found guilty of and was sent to prison for. And, then, I did take into account that he stabbed three random people just trying to put gas in their automobile, from what I understand.”

In addition to setting bond amounts for each charge, Roach also set conditions which must be met by Acosta, if he is released on bond. Specifically, he said, Acosta must wear an ankle monitor and can’t be around any of the victims.

Additionally, the JP said, he granted the BPD’s request for a 60-day emergency protective order for the victim in the family violence charge, as well as a 48-hour hold on Acosta. “If he were to bond out, he has to wait 48 hours before he can be released,” Roach said.

The 48-hour hold is set up to reduce future risk to the victims by giving them time to prepare for the alleged assailant’s release on bond.

Roach said Acosta has requested a court-appointed attorney, and Judge Bristow will appoint that attorney. His attorney can then request a bond reduction hearing, if desired.

Previous criminal history
Roach said he was aware of Acosta’s prior criminal history, including an assault in 2004 that resulted in a 12-year prison sentence.

“I knew that going into the bond setting, that he had been sent to prison and had only been in our community for a short period of time – less than a year, is my understanding – from his release from incarceration, until he allegedly committed these crimes on Friday night,” the JP said. “I knew that going in, and it absolutely played a factor in the bonds being as high as they were.”

Roach said Acosta has faced numerous criminal charges in the past.

“His criminal history with our district court…he has burglary of a building, theft of property two times, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon – that one was dismissed, is my understanding – evading arrest and detention, prohibitive weapon – a switch blade, and then aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in 2004 that he went to prison for,” he said.

According to a spokesperson with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Acosta was sentenced to 12 years in prison for shooting someone in the head on Sept. 11, 2004. He also was sentenced to one year and five months in prison for a 2003 burglary.

The victim in the shooting was a Breckenridge man who survived the assault. The specific charge was for aggravated assault, and the Breckenridge chief of police offered up a likely explanation as to why the charge wasn’t for attempted murder.

“Aggravated assault and attempted murder have the same classification as crime,” Mahan said. “In other words, they’re both the same felony, and it’s easier to prove aggravated assault than it is attempted murder. And, also, you have to prove a lot more with attempted murder. You have to prove that murder was the intent. And, that’s all done through the DA’s office.”

Acosta served time in prison from May 16, 2005, to Sept. 9, 2016, as well as jail time, and was released after serving the full sentence.

For more information on this story, see the Breckenridge Texan’s articles: Four injured, one jailed in Friday night stabbings and Acosta’s bonds set at $1.075 million.

 

 Story by Tony Pilkington and Carla McKeown

 

 

 

 

 

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