The third time in court wasn’t a charm for Anthony Pappas, a Durango native whose $100,000 bond on an attempted-murder charge was again upheld by a judge.
District Court Judge Todd Norvell on Wednesday denied Pappas’ motion, filed by lawyer Joel Fry, seeking reduced bond in an effort to get Pappas out of La Plata County Jail and into an inpatient treatment program with The Raleigh House in Arvada.
A letter to the court written by the director of treatment coordination at The Raleigh House says, “Pappas is expected to complete a minimum of 30 days while in our care and then transition to a 60-day aftercare facility.”
Fry argued in his motion that “during the time of his arrest and in the holding cell at the Durango Police Department, Defendant exhibited behavior and made statements that could be indicative of undiagnosed mental health and/or emotional issues.”
The statements made to police include: “I planned to kill a person”; “I walk around town every night with my handgun”; “I just wanted to save the world”; and “I shot a guy that was assaulting me. I didn’t even kill him.” Pappas had a 0.235 blood alcohol content not long before he allegedly made the statements and about 1½ hours after his arrest, almost three times the 0.08 BAC limit for legal driving.
Fry made a similar argument about his client’s mental health at a bond hearing before Norvell on July 5. The judge declined to reduce Pappas’ bail, even though he had been accepted to The Raleigh House for “a dual diagnosis treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues,” according to the motion.
Defense attorney David Greenberg also attempted to get Pappas’ bond reduced at his first court appearance June 14, saying the $100,000 bond was “outrageous” and “unduly oppressive – it’s tantamount to no bail at all.” La Plata County Judge Dondi Osborne refused to release Pappas on his word that he’d make his court dates and upheld a $100,000 bond.
On Wednesday, Norvell agreed that Pappas’ bail was high, but citing the severity of charges and his comments to police, Norvell said he did not feel comfortable releasing Pappas to a public facility.
“While the facility is aware of the charges, the patients will have Mr. Pappas thrust upon them,” Norvell said. “That concerns me.”
Pappas is accused of shooting Skyler Bowers, a 25-year-old man without permanent residence, with a .40-caliber handgun in downtown Durango about 2 a.m. June 13. Bowers was treated at Mercy Regional Medical Center for a gunshot wound to his back that “narrowly missed hitting his spinal cord,” according to arresting documents.
Prosecutors, who said the shooting was “unprovoked,” charged the 22-year-old with four felonies, including attempted second-degree murder, assault, menacing and tampering with evidence.
Pappas is scheduled to appear in court again Aug. 2 for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there was probable cause to believe the crimes were committed and Pappas committed them.
He’ll be held in La Plata County Jail until bond is posted.