Judge denies request to reduce accused murderer's bail

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A judge has denied the request of an accused murderer to have his bail reduced.

Ramon Somoza faces murder charges in the death of a former employee.

The body of Jesus Landin was found near Wendover Jan. 7.

Police believe Landin was actually killed at a dance hall in American Fork Dec. 28, 2009, after he told friends he was asking Somoza for his paycheck.

Somoza told police he was simply defending himself, but prosecutors say the evidence shows otherwise.

"The state believes he is a flight risk," said prosecutor Chat Grunander. "He is facing a murder charge here, which has the potential of a life sentence. And additionally, because of that charge and other circumstances associated with the case, we believe he is a clear danger to the community."

The judge in the case has received 28 letters from family and friends in support of Somoza's $500,000 bail being reduced or made bondable.

A preliminary hearing will be scheduled next month.

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