Murder suspects could be released from jail

Murder suspects could be released from jail

By Kathi Bliss
Editor/POST-REGISTER

Lawyers are taking steps to have two suspects in the December 2013 slaying of Russell Martens freed from jail.
Last week, 421st Judicial District Judge Todd Blomerth entered an order reducing the bond on Pedro Lucio from $500,000 to $50,000, after Lucio’s attorney filed documents suggesting it was unjust for Lucio to remain in custody.
The order imposes strict conditions in the event of Lucio’s release, including a GPS ankle monitor and daily contact with the Pretrial Services arm of the Caldwell County probation department. The attorney for a second suspect, Trey Hopes, filed similar paperwork on Monday.
Hopes’ attorney’s filing suggests he intends to ask the judge to approve his client for a personal bond, rather than the cash-or-surety requirement on Lucio’s bond reduction, because, though the defendant has familial connections, he does not have the resources to post a cash bond.
The basis of the argument for release stems from a legal requirement which essentially demands a defendant be charged within 90 days of arrest

Lucio, along with a third suspect, Louis Holt, was arrested on Dec. 7, 2013, while Hopes, according to earlier coverage of this story, turned himself in on Dec. 12.
The Caldwell County Grand Jury entered indictments on the charge of Capital Murder against the trio on March 26, 2014. All three have been in custody, with bond set at $500,000, since their arrest.
Although Lucio’s bond was reduced last week, he remained in custody at press time. A date had not been set for the Judge to hear arguments regarding Hopes’ bond. Holt’s attorney has not filed a request for a bond reduction.
Caldwell County District Attorney Trey Hicks declined comment on the matter.
Follow developments on this story online at www.post-register.com.
kathibliss@post-register.com

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