UPDATE: April 23, 2021 5:36 p.m.
Murder suspect Jorge Soto has been released from jail on a lower bond for a second time. Soto was released from jail Friday after his $250,000 bond for aggravated assault was lowered to $125,000.
He had earlier been released on the murder charge when that bond was lowered, then rearrested for aggravated assault.
WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A murder defendant, who was released when he got his bond lowered then rearrested on a new charge and new bond, now gets the second bond lowered.
38-year-old Jorge Soto was granted a lower bond of $125,000 Thursday morning after his attorney Greg Merkle argued the $250,000 bond for aggravated assault was 10 times the normal bond for that charge.
Soto is one of three suspects in the December stabbing death of Evan Aleman at O’Brien’s Sports Pub.
Judge Charles Barnard granted the prosecutor’s request to change a previous order on his bond that required Soto to work for his brother while out on bond for murder.
Assistant D.A. Misty King pointed out that the brother, Carlos Soto, is now a witness in the murder case, and has also been charged with tampering with the evidence.
Authorities alleged he helped hide the knife and also deleted phone messages about the murder and assault of another victim.
Police said Carlos Soto admitted lying in his first interview and admitted he took the knife and later threw it into a ditch on River Road when a police car came up behind his truck.
Jorge Soto told police he was knocked down in the bar brawl and never assaulted anyone.
The defense and prosecutor argued over whether proper notification had been made to the defense that Carlos Soto was a witness so that Jorge Soto would not associate with him.
Merkle pointed out that his murder bond stipulates he should work for him, and asked why, if Carlos Soto was going to be a witness, the prosecutor did not object to that stipulation previously.
After granting a lower bond judge Barnard ordered that condition be stricken and added a new condition of no contact with Carlos Soto at all.
After Carlos Soto’s wife testified that Jorge Soto had not violated any bond conditions and was a good father to his child, the defense asked her if she was aware of a police call on domestic violence, by Jorge’s girlfriend, that Jorge had slashed her tires.
She said she had no knowledge of that, and the defense objected to it being irrelevant. The judge sustained Merkle’s objection.
Carlos Soto posted his two $25,000 bonds for tampering on April 12.