Order For Lower Bond Now Requires Defendant To Risk 5 Times More Money

Edwardo Roman Jr.'s car was struck by several bullets [Photo courtesy Sierra Vista Police Department]

A Tucson man sitting in the Cochise County jail since early October hoped a judge would reduce the defendant’s $30,000 cash-only bond in time to spend Thanksgiving Day with his family.

Unfortunately, Edwardo Antonio Roman Jr. got a lesson last week in being careful what you wish for, as he must now put up collateral equal to five times more than his initial bond.

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Roman, 24, was attacked Oct. 3 in a Circle K parking lot in Sierra Vista after he urinated near some members of the Nomaden Motorcycle Club. As Roman drove away, several shots rang out from Roman’s vehicle in the direction of the motorcyclists, one of whom returned fire.

No one was injured in the shooting, which sent bullets into nearby apartments and damaged several vehicles. Sierra Vista police officers responded within just a few minutes, but all the parties were gone. Roman was arrested two days later and indicted by a county grand jury on 10 felonies.

A Cochise County judge ordered a $30,000 cash-only bond if Roman wanted to be out of custody pending trial. But a few weeks later Deputy Public Defender Charles Kendall Jr. filed a motion seeking Roman’s release on his own recognizance or to the third-party custody of Roman’s mother.

In the alternative, Kendall asked for Roman’s bond amount to be reduced despite the fact Roman was the subject of a probation absconder warrant out of Pima County at the time of the Circle K incident. The defense attorney also argued that Roman was a victim in the case, not the perpetrator, and posed no danger to others or the community.

“While the State has charged Mr. Roman with very serious offenses, he is presumed innocent for these offenses,” Kendall argued to Judge Timothy Dickerson. “In the situation at hand, the current condition of a $30,000 cash bond, is not the least onerous release condition at the court’s disposal.”

The Cochise County Attorney’s Office argued against any change to Roman’s release conditions, noting objections from three persons endangered during the Oct. 3 shooting.

“They fear for their safety and they are concerned because Defendant will not cooperate with authorities and provide the name of the second person that was in Defendant’s vehicle at the time of the shooting,” prosecutor Raymond Haight advised Dickerson.

Dickerson granted Roman’s request to set aside the $30,000 cash-only bond during a Nov. 22 hearing. The judge then replaced it with a $150,000 secured bond.

The new bond order allows Roman to be out of custody pending trial next year if he can satisfy the bail-bond company’s collateral requirement for $150,000, five times more than his potential exposure under the original bond. Roman must also pay a one-time $15,000 cash fee to the bail-bond agent.

As of press time Roman remains in the Cochise County jail. He is scheduled for a Dec. 20 pretrial conference.

Roman was released from state prison in April 2019 after serving 2.5 years for a 2016 felony aggravated assault with a weapon offense. Upon his release he began serving a term of probation for a 2017 offense of leaving the scene of an injury accident.

Court record show Roman had not been in contact with his probation officer for at least six months at the time of the Circle K incident, prompting the absconder warrant.