ST. GEORGE — The man suspected in the shooting death of a St. George teen appeared in court Monday to request a reduction in his $1 million bail.
Nicanor Vasquez-Mendoza, 32, of St. George, appeared in 5th District Court for a bail reduction hearing. He faces one count of first-degree felony murder and multiple other charges that include second-degree felony drug possession with intent to distribute and obstruction of justice.
The defendant’s charges stem from a shooting reported Aug. 14 at a residence on 2700 East that resulted in the death of 18-year-old Skyler Armstrong. Police say Vasquez-Mendoza shot Armstrong and attempted to cover up the alleged crime.
Defense attorney Ken Combs requested that bail be reduced on behalf of his client, who has extended family as well as a wife and children living in the area and has no prior felony convictions the attorney was aware of.
Combs said his client’s bail was substantially lower initially, but the bail was doubled to $1 million when “someone called into the court, or somehow it got relayed” that Vasquez-Mendoza has “cartel connections — which he does not.”
While acknowledging the charge of murder is very serious, Combs said his client is still entitled to a reasonable bail amount because he is “presumably innocent of the charges” until proven guilty.
“Well, he is presumably innocent for purposes of trial,” District Judge John Walton said. “But not for purposes of bail.”