Protest, vigil held for slain Zwolle woman after suspect’s release on bond

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HEMPHILL, Texas (KETK/KTAL) — Family and friends of a Zwolle woman found shot to death in October gathered for a protest candlelight vigil Thursday, two days after her accused killer was released on bond.

The protest was held outside the Sabine County Courthouse, where a judge earlier this week ordered the release of 24-year-old Matthew Hoy Edgar on bond. Edgar is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of his 19-year-old girlfriend, Livye Lewis.

Livye Lewis,19, was found shot to death on Oct. 31, 2020 by deputies responding to what was reported as a traffic accident east of Hemphill. (Photo via Facebook)

Lewis was found shot to death on Oct. 31, 2020 by deputies responding to what was reported as a traffic accident east of Hemphill. She had suffered a gunshot wound and blunt force trauma.

Edgar was initially denied bond in November, but on Tuesday, District Judge Craig Mixson set his bond at $50,000.

In a statement, District Attorney Kevin Dutton said he objected to Edgar’s release but agreed that the judge was simply following the law and its recent changes due to COVID-19.

In a follow-up statement, Dutton said the court has set an expedited trial date of July 12, 2021.

Lewis’s mother, Darci Bass, said those who came out to pay respects to her daughter and their family are some of the “most amazing, compassionate” people. “They support us.”

Bass has started a petition to get Edgar’s bond revoked and have him placed back in jail. She said many people have signed the petition.

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