Houston, Texas (KTRK) – A Houston woman accused of vandalizing a synagogue before storming again days later appeared before a judge on Tuesday.
Ezra Law, 33, is charged with a felony criminal mischief. Prosecutors say she extensively destroyed the Imanu El compound on Sunset Boulevard — including breaking a window and pouring wine over a Torah scroll.
She was initially charged with a criminal misdemeanor, but the charges against her were upgraded to a felony after the prosecution was able to prove that there was more than $750 in damages to the place of worship.
ORIGINAL REPORT: Houston synagogue on edge after woman charged with twice storming, online threats
The law was originally scheduled to appear in the 232nd Court, but instead appeared before an assistant judge on Tuesday because the court filed a motion to be recused from the case. The exact reason is not known.
During the court appearance, the state made two motions — one to deny bail based on previous bond violations and a second for sufficient bail if the court felt the law did not violate the previous bond amount.
In the end, the judge ruled that Law was entitled to bail. The state asked for a $50,000 bond, and the defense demanded reinstatement of her former personal bond.
After hearing both arguments, the judge granted bail at $10,000 with strict conditions — including no contact with the worshipers in person or on social media, random drug testing, no alcohol consumption, and house arrest with GPS monitoring. House arrest has exceptions for things like court business and doctor’s appointments.
“We appreciate that the court entered into stricter terms, and we feel the court took it very seriously,” said Erica Winsor, assistant district attorney.
Winsor said that during Tuesday’s hearing, it was decided that previous social media posts made by Law would not be admissible on the record. The state believes the posts were of a threatening nature.
Prosecutors said that several members of the community were present during the hearing and even attempted to join the Zoom court session.
“I think the court is of the opinion that the community is afraid of this case, of the actions that have been taken here,” Winsor said. “We appreciate the community’s support at this time. We appreciate their willingness to be heard. We think it’s appropriate for the community to do so the way they did today.”
ABC13 has had an internal email sent to members of the congregation. According to the email, Law broke into the Emanu El compound on January 14 and damaged the property inside, including a window.
It was allegedly not detected for six hours because the security system was down for maintenance for at least part of that time.
Law was arrested and charged with the first break-in as a misdemeanor. Prosecutors say that while she was on bond, she began posting numerous threats and rambling messages on Instagram, some of which specifically tagged the synagogue.
Prosecutors said the synagogue was extensively damaged during the break-in. Documents say they caused between $750 and $2,500 in damages.
The state said that while inside the synagogue, Law spilled wine on a Torah scroll and mantle she was wearing, which belonged to the rabbi.
On January 20, when Lou missed a court appearance, prosecutors persuaded a judge to issue a warrant for her arrest.
Then, on January 21, Law allegedly stormed the synagogue again. According to the internal email, Lu accessed the building through a propped open door. She reportedly entered the church and served the children on Saturday. The staff recognized her immediately and called the authorities.
Law was re-arrested the same day on an advanced charge and warrant from the first incident.
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