Bail Reduced for Man Accused of Abandoning Stepson

Bail Reduced for Man Accused of Abandoning Stepson

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RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Bail has been reduced for a Reno pharmacist accused of abandoning his stepson in Utah and suspected in the disappearance of his wife.

Over the objection of prosecutors, Washoe District Judge James Hardesty on Thursday reduced bail for Lyle Montgomery from $2.5 million cash to $150,000 bond.

Hardesty dismissed arguments by Chief Deputy District Attorney Dan Greco that Montgomery's bail should be revoked because he's suspected of killing his wife, Jeannette Corpuz, who has been missing since mid-January.

Montgomery, 42, has not been charged in his wife's disappearance, though investigators have said they believe he killed her.

The pending charges against him involve allegations that he threatened and assaulted Corpuz in October.

Montgomery's lawyer, Scott Freeman, said Hardesty "showed tremendous courage" in making his ruling.

Freeman had argued that since Montgomery was charged with assault and false imprisonment -- not murder -- he should be granted a $10,000 bail.

Montgomery became a suspect after authorities found his 3-year-old stepson -- Corpuz's son -- abandoned in a store in Salt Lake City on Jan. 25. Days later, police found Montgomery on the floor of his condominium with a handgun nearby.

He was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital after he was found to be a suicide threat. He was released from the hospital Feb. 27 and immediately placed in police custody.

In searching the home, investigators said they found blood on the carpet and noted that the bed in the master bedroom had been removed.

Hardesty imposed a list of conditions if Montgomery is able to post bail and is released.

Among other things, he must stay with a friend who agreed to let Montgomery live in his house, make daily reports to court officials and adhere to the medication and therapy ordered by a doctor.

He also must not have contact with any witnesses in the case, Hardesty said.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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