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6:41 AM Fri, Sept. 21st

Judge eases Cruz bond a bit, may do more Friday

Cruz

Cruz

PRESCOTT - The judge in Cecilio Cruz's murder trial has made it easier for him to bond out, and will rule on a further reduction by Friday.

Cecilio Cruz is accused of the 1997 murder of Marisol Gonzalez and her unborn son.

Cruz and Gonzalez were both 17 when she was killed.

Cottonwood Police Det. Tod Moore said the two had been dating, and Gonzalez found out she was pregnant with Cruz's child after they broke up. Her body was discovered in an alley near her home on March 25, 1997, the same day she was set to have labor induced to deliver her baby boy. She had been shot in the face. Police have alleged that Cruz spoke with Gonzalez by phone the previous night.

Cruz was indicted in September on a second-degree murder charge in the death of Gonzalez and a manslaughter charge for the death of her unborn son.

Cruz was jailed and held in Tucson on a $100,000 bond, but then, a Pima County judge reduced the bond to $10,000 without a hearing. Cruz paid it, and was released.

On Sept. 26, Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Michael Bluff restored the bond to $100,000 cash only and Cruz was taken back into custody.

Yavapai County Public Defender John Napper said Monday in court that the incident was proof that Cruz could be trusted to appear on a much smaller bond-because he already had.

"We know that $10,000 is significant enough to ensure his appearance," Napper told Superior Court Judge Jennifer Campbell.

He argued that Cruz had been "gainfully employed" and that his employer had said he would take Cruz back "immediately" if he were released on bond.

Campbell set a revised bond for $100,000, cash or security, meaning a bail bondsman could release him if he could raise ten percent, or $10,000. She said she would rule on Napper's motion to lower the total bond to $10,000 by Friday.

Campbell also set a hearing on Napper's motion to return the case to the grand jury for next month.

Follow Scott Orr on Twitter @AZNewsguy