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Bond reduced in overdose death case

FARMINGTON — Their bonds had been set at $2 million, cash-only but last week, Associate Circuit Court Judge Wendy Wexler Horn reduced the bonds for Larry Dale Stotler Jr., 27, of Desloge, Vernon G. Logan Jr., 36, of Desloge, Joshua D. Horton, 23, of Park Hills, and Michael A. Strnad, 23, of Park Hills.

Each were charged earlier this month with second-degree murder and distribution of a controlled substance in connection with the April 7 death of 26-year-old Shawen Bunch.

Associate Circuit Court Judge Shawn McCarver had set their bonds at $2 million. On Tuesday, Horn lowered each of their bonds to $200,000 cash or surety.

Strnad’s attorney, Virginia Held, asked the judge to reduce the bond to $50,000 cash or surety.

She told the judge she found the probable cause statement offensive because it alleges Bunch bought drugs from various people before his death but the court document did not state which drug caused his death.

Some of the defendants allegedly sold Xanax while Strnad allegedly sold methadone to Strnad.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Melissa Perris told Held that Bunch died of acute methadone intoxication. Earlier this month, Prosecuting Attorney Jerrod Mahurin said Bunch had multiple drugs in his system which led him to believe Bunch died of a cocktail of drugs not just one.

Bunch’s parents, who were wearing shirts in memory of their son, asked the judge not to reduce the bond.

“If you let him out there may be another death,” John Bunch said, pointing out Strnad already had a distribution charge pending before Bunch’s death.

Horn said she had to look at the legal issues. She said reducing the bond was in no way out of lack of sympathy for their family.

Strnad’s preliminary hearing was scheduled for July 10.

In a separate overdose case stemming from Park Hills, Wayne O’Brian Harris, 46, of Park Hills, and Christopher Sebastian, 20, of Leadington, waived their rights to a preliminary hearing to determine if there was sufficient probable cause for their cases to move forward to trial. The cases were passed to August before Circuit Court Judge Kenneth W. Pratte.

They are charged with distribution of a controlled substance and second-degree murder in connection with the death of 36-year-old Michael Lambing of Park Hills. He died as a result of acute heroin intoxication March 2.

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