A U.S. judge has set a $2 million bond for the release of a Saudi student charged in the murder of a local bar owner in the U.S. state of Missouri.
The lawyers of Ziyad Abid had urged the court to set a bond for their client, arguing that the case brought against him was unfounded.
Presiding Judge Jacqueline Cook on Friday refused a $10 million bond request made by public prosecutor and set the bond at $2 million.
Abid will be released once the amount is paid through a third party.
His lawyers said the charges against him were based solely on a statement made by the person who admitted to opening fire on the victim.
Abid’s attorneys are Patrick Peters, of the Peters & Peters Law Firm in Kansas City, and John Osgood, of the Osgood Law Office in Lee’s Summit.
Along with Abid, another man, Reginald Singletary, was charged on Sept. 5 with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the killing of bar owner Blaine Whitworth.
After he was arrested, Singletary admitted to shooting Whitworth and told the police that Abid paid him to carry out the murder.
Singletary’s wife told investigators that he is a pathological liar.
Abid’s attorneys argued that there was no actual physical or forensic evidence connecting Abid, 23, to the crime and he was only detained and charged based on the statement of the shooter.
The court previously refused to set any bail on Abid because Missouri law states that immigrant students in the U.S. who carry out criminal acts lose their student status, and is not entitled to bail.
Abid’s attorneys argued that until a United States immigration judge makes such a ruling after a full hearing, the student should not be treated as a criminal, assuming his visa has not expired. It was then declared that Abid was “out of status” as a student but that his visa had not expired.
The court rejected the argument, citing federal law, and initially declined to set any bond for Abid.