A murder suspect's request for a bond reduction was denied Tuesday morning.
Aaron J. Wilkinson, 28, of Bismarck, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of his 67-year-old grandmother, Brenda DeClue.
On Tuesday, public defender Stephanie Zipfel asked Associate Circuit Court Judge Joseph Goff Jr. to reduce Wilkinson's bond from $1 million cash only to $500,000 surety.
She told the judge that Wilkinson does have ties to the community. She added his mother lives in Arkansas and if he was released, he would live with her.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Ben Campbell told the judge he spoke with some of the victim's relatives and they opposed the bond reduction. He reminded the judge that Wilkinson is accused of killing an elderly woman. He said it appears the woman was asleep when she was murdered. She died of blunt force trauma to the head.
After hearing the short arguments, Judge Goff denied the bond reduction request.
According to a probable cause statement, on Nov. 11, Wilkinson made statements to family members in Washington County that he had killed his grandmother. Bismarck Police responded to the residence to check the well-being of DeClue and found her dead of an apparent assault. St. Francois County detectives were then contacted to investigate the murder.
A woman told detectives that she picked Wilkinson up at his grandmother's residence on Nov. 8 and that Wilkinson was in possession of several duffel bags, including DeClue's checkbook and cell phone.