By Mark McNeillie

Williston Herald

District Judge David Nelson denied requests to reduce bond in two cases during bond reduction hearings Tuesday.

Nelson kept the bond for Ryan Anderson at $1 million and the bond for Billy Owens at $25,000 during the hearing.

Anderson is accused of the murdering Christopher King at Capital Lodge on March 17. King was stabbed four times in the torso and was pronounced dead at Tioga Medical Center.

Anderson’s lawyer Nicole Foster argued that his bond should be dropped to a $25,000 cash assurance. Foster argued that her client stabbed King in self defense and that he is also facing a case for charges of assault in Michigan.

State’s Attorney Nathan Madden told the judge that Anderson had a history of failing to appear for court. Foster said her client’s failure to appear problem was in the past, and his more recent history showed that he had changed.

Nelson said having Anderson’s recent history with the judicial system was a gift and a curse, because it showed that he would appear in court, which was a good thing, but it also meant that he had been in trouble with the law too many times.

After hearing both attorneys’ arguments, Nelson decided to not lower Anderson’s bond. Anderson will have another chance for bond reduction at his preliminary hearing April 9.

Earlier in the hearing, Nelson held off on making a decision on reducing bond for Billy Owens, who is accused of leading a criminal association in connection to a shooting that left one man paralyzed.

Owens recently fired his first attorney and has hired the services of Foster. With Foster being new to the case and not yet having all the information, Nelson decided to wait to make a decision until Foster was up to speed.

Owens’ trial was set to start April 5, but with the change in lawyer, a new date for the trial has yet to be determined.