Bernal bonds out of jail, public funeral scheduled Saturday for victims

Jason Bernal, the boater charged with two counts of criminally negligent homicide in connection with the June 23 boating tragedy on Temple Lake Park that led to the deaths of Patrick Oliver and his daughter Kaitlyn, was released on bond for the second tim

This story has been updated with a new statement from Jason bernal's attorney.

TEMPLE, Texas -- Jason Bernal, the boater charged with two counts of criminally negligent homicide in connection with the June 23 boating tragedy on Temple Lake Park that led to the deaths of Patrick Oliver and his daughter Kaitlyn, was released on bond for the second time Thursday.

Bernal was released at 9:31 p.m. Thursday on a $75,000 personal recognizance bond -- significantly lower than the $200,000 bond that was originally set. 

"That high of a bond on even one case of this level is extraordinary," his lawyer Barrett Thomas said in a previous statement. Thomas said a $150,000 for the other count was also lowered to $75,000.

Thomas asked the public to withhold judgment of his client until the investigation was completed.

"I agree with the community that this is an unspeakable tragedy," Thomas said. "In fact, aside from the family of the victims, probably nobody feels that more than Mr. Bernal who is overwhelmed with grief."

A joint funeral for Kaitlyn and Patrick Oliver will be held Saturday at 3 p.m. at Temple Bible Church. The service, which was provided free of charge by Crotty Funeral Home in Belton, will be open to the public.

Thomas issued a fresh statement Friday. Below is the full, unedited statement:

"Mr. Bernal's bonds were lowered this afternoon.  We are grateful to the Court for its careful consideration of what was appropriate to secure Mr. Bernal's attendance in court.  We hope the grand jury will see this case for what it is, a tragic accident not a criminal act.  However, if Mr. Bernal is indicted we look forward to telling his side of this story to a petit jury.  We are confident the truth will ultimately be realized through the justice process.  In the meantime, we join this community in praying for peace and healing for the Oliver family."

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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