Accused murderer Ramon Bravo appeared in District Court on Thursday, for a reduction of bond hearing. Defense attorney Jones Witt asked that the court reduce the bond from $500,000 cash-only to $500,000 surety.
Currently, Bravo, 37, is being held at the Chaves County Detention Center, on a $500,000 cash-only bond. He is awaiting trial on the charges of first degree murder and aggravated burglary for the 2003 slaying of his estranged wife, Susan Amos-Bravo.
Prior to the hearing, about 10 members of Amos-Bravoâ€™s family and close friends staked out the courthouseâ€™s foyer. â€œWeâ€™re here to let (the judge) know that there are a lot of people in this community who donâ€™t want (Ramon Bravo) out of jail,â€ Tim Amos, Susanâ€™s brother, said.
â€œWeâ€™re [auth] shocked that weâ€™re here for a bail hearing,â€ Sonjia Clark, Susanâ€™s sister, said. â€œI am hoping he stays exactly where he needs to stay. Itâ€™s not fair for him to get out while my sister is in South Park Cemetery.â€ During the hearing, Witt pointed out that the original case was dismissed due to lack of evidence.
He stated that the only additional information resulted from a civil case which was brought against Bravo in April, 2006, for wrongful death, where Donald C. Price, who was in a cell adjacent to Bravo, testified to an alleged jailhouse confession Bravo made. Price said during examination, â€œShe (Susan) had made him (Ramon) so mad for making him kill her …. She was dead before he stabbed her. He just went of f and he must have stabbed her 150 times.â€
In Magistrate Court during the hearing for probable cause in July, 2010, Witt argued that this information should not be admitted as evidence since the witness, now deceased, was not available for cross-examination.
Special Prosecutor Kirk C. Chavez, from the the 9th Judicial District, countered Wittâ€™s proposal for reduction, saying that the murder was a heinous and cold-blooded crime. He quoted state law for bond in case of capital crimes. He pointed to Bravoâ€™s previous convictions in 1997, when Bravo was arrested for battery and false imprisonment. Chavez said that Bravo had, â€œtaken every opportunity to tormentâ€ members of the Amos family since the dismissal.
â€œNo less than seven restraining orders had been filed against Bravo, and one woman was forced to move out of her home,â€ he said. He revealed the visits with Bravoâ€™s wife had been curtailed by the Chaves County Detention Center because of alleged deviancy. Chavez asked, â€œWhy lower the bond with the trial going on in one monthâ€™s time?â€
He expressed concern that he would have trouble with evidence and witnesses if Bravo were free. Witt acknowledged the previous charges, but he said that any allegations of deviancy on Bravoâ€™s part should not be a consideration. Judge Ralph D. Shamas said that after considering all the factors, including previous convictions, he ruled that bond would remain at $500,000 cash-only.