Bond reduction nixed for cop-shooting suspect

Phillip Amonette

A judge this morning rejected a request to reduce the $1 million bond in the case of Phillip Amonette, who is accused of shooting a Rifle police officer in his protective vest.

Visiting Judge Paul McLimans’ decision came after deputy 9th district attorney Anne Norrdin said the officer, Garrett Duncan, told her he objected to Amonette’s request.

“He said, ‘The man tried to kill me. He should not get a bond reduction,’” Norrdin said.

She agreed, saying, “The bond is incredibly appropriate as set and I object to any modification.”

Matt Morriss, a deputy public defender, had asked for a sharp reduction in the amount, to $25,000.

He called the $1 million amount “oppressive,” particularly given Amonette’s indigent status. He said Amonette has lived and worked in the area since the mid-1990s, has a previous criminal record involving only misdemeanors, and planned to stay with his daughter in Rifle.

“He gives his word that he will show up for all court dates,” Morriss said.

McLimans said the bond was appropriate at least for the time being, given the “extremely egregious” nature of the alleged offense.

Amonette faces charges including attempted murder after allegedly firing on Duncan when he and fellow officer Dewey Ryan responded to a domestic violence call Oct. 22. The names of the officers involved previously had not been made public.

Norrdin said the vest saved Duncan from being seriously injured or even killed.

Ryan fired back six times, striking Amonette four times. Amonette remains in a wheelchair, with his right arm in a sling. Morriss had argued that reducing bond enough for Amonette to go free would benefit taxpayers who already have paid tens of thousands of dollars for his health care while in Garfield County Jail.

Amonette asked today for a preliminary hearing in the case. It’s scheduled for July 20.


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