KILLEEN, Texas — When Judge Kris Krishna took over Killeen's Municipal Court in April, he discovered the City of Killeen has a list of outstanding arrest warrants more than 4,000 people long. Killeen would normally need to work with law enforcement to track people down in a warrant roundup, but Krishna decided to take a friendlier approach to trying and get the list taken care of.
The Killeen Municipal Court deals with Class C Misdemeanors in the city. On May 30, the court decided to put out the full list of individuals wanted by the court on its city website.
Friday, Krishna appeared in a City of Killeen Facebook video asking people to check the list and come in to get their fines taken care of.
"I said, 'hey, people need to know about this list,' because if they don't know they have a warrant they can't take care of it. So the easiest thing, instead of doing the warrant roundup which we will do eventually, we want give people the opportunity to take care of it themselves," he said.
Some of the fine amounts on the list are only a few hundred dollars but Krishna said people can still get arrested, even for a Class C offense, because there is a warrant attached to it.
"You are not arrested for the fine, you are arrested for the warrant because you did not take care of it before," Krishna said.
Even if an individual is not arrested, Krishna said the warrant will still prevent them from renewing their driver's license and the amount of the fine can go up if it is sent to collections.
A fine of several hundred dollars may still be difficult for some residents to pay, but Krishna said he will be happy to work with them if they come to the municipal court.
"They can be set up on a payment plan. They can ask to see the judge and we can discuss other options such as community service. They have plenty of options to take care of their cases," Krishna said.
The Killeen Municipal Court is located at 200 E Avenue D Suite 1, Killeen, TX 76541. People can contact the court at 254-501-7850.
Krishna said the city may still need to do a warrant roundup but he hopes to put that off until next year if residents can take care of the fines voluntarily.
"We want to give people the opportunity to take care of it themselves and just say, 'hey, this is out there.'" Krishna said.