A judge modified the bond for a Bowling Green man jailed on a murder charge after it emerged that a detective who testified at a court hearing reportedly didn’t disclose information about an apparent plot to rob the suspect.
Pedro Alfaro, 25, is charged with murder in the Sept. 8 shooting of Kevin J. Morris, 20, of Bowling Green. Morris was shot in the parking lot of Campus Pointe Apartments on Fields Drive.
At a preliminary hearing last week in Warren District Court, Bowling Green Police Department Detective Matthew Irvin testified that Alfaro was involved in a physical confrontation in his parked car with Morris and a juvenile, in which the juvenile reported struggling with Alfaro over control of a firearm Alfaro had been holding.
Another witness reported seeing the driver of a vehicle fire multiple shots at a victim lying on the ground outside the car, and Alfaro drove away from the scene and called 911 to report he had shot someone in self-defense, according to testimony.
Warren District Judge John Brown bound the case over to the grand jury and ordered Alfaro held in the Warren County Regional Jail under a $500,000 cash bond, but Alfaro’s attorney, Alan Simpson, filed a motion Thursday requesting a bond modification.
Simpson said he was contacted that day by Warren County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Daniel “Tres” Miller and told that Irvin failed to mention during his testimony that the juvenile had admitted he and Morris were attempting to rob Alfaro and take his guns, his filing said.
In his motion, Simpson cited a text message from the juvenile to Morris that shows an apparent willingness to rob Alfaro and argues that Irvin “intentionally misled” the court when he testified.
“I think this makes (Alfaro’s) claim of self-defense even more credible,” Simpson said in court Tuesday.
Simpson also said he appreciated Miller’s actions in making him aware of the previously undisclosed testimony.
Miller said at the hearing that he contacted Simpson about the omitted information after reviewing a recording of the preliminary hearing.
Miller said he learned Irvin was testifying for the first time as the lead detective in a homicide case and, referring to that as a “nerve-wracking” experience, said it may have factored into Irvin’s testimony.
“I don’t think this affects the court’s decision on probable cause because of what happened after (Morris exited the vehicle),” Miller said, adding that he received information that a witness reported that Morris had his hands up and was apologizing just before being shot.
Brown altered Alfaro’s bond from $500,000 cash to $250,000 cash.
“I think the detective’s credibility is at stake here,” Simpson said in court. “What the detective did is pretty unusual, I’ll say it politely.”
– Follow courts reporter Justin Story on Twitter @jstorydailynews or visit bgdailynews.com.