Accused murderer Steven Swinford appeared before Superior Court Judge T.W., “Chip” Small yesterday asking the court to reduce his bail from its current $ 1 million dollars and allow his release from ChelanCountyRegional JusticeCenter where he has been incarcerated since killing Paul Raney on January 28th. Representing Swinford, defense attorney Jeremy Ford argued that Swinford was not a danger to the community and his mother needs her son by her side as she battles cancer.
Prosecuting Attorney, Doug Shay told the court he felt there was no basis to reduce Swinford’s bail and felt his release would put a dangerous person into the community even with court imposed restrictions.
In yesterdays bail hearing, information that was not allowed in Swinfords first murder trial in October was allowed as evidence. That trial ended in a mistrial when jurors were unable to reach a unanimous decision on the charges. Shay read a letter to the court from the US Navy describing Swinfords dismissal from the service just four months after enlisting.
Judge TW “Chip” Small said the court would not consider the situation with Swinfords mom but would take into consideration that the first trial ended in a mistrial. Swinfords retrial has been postponed three times leaving him in jail for over a year on allegations of murder without a conviction. Swinford does not deny shooting Paul Raney 7 times but denies murdering him.
Judge Small, based on previous evidence and new information from yesterdays hearing, ruled against the bail reduction request and left the bail set at $1 million dollars. Swinford will presumably remain in jail until his February 7th retrial on 2nd Degree murder charges.