CROWN POINT — A criminal court judge granted a bond reduction Monday for a man accused of attempting to intimidate a witness to an East Chicago murder.
Isaac L. Facen appeared Monday in Lake Criminal Court with defense attorney Gojko Kasich. Kasich requested his client's $5,000 cash bond be lowered.
Facen, 26, of East Chicago, was charged Friday with three counts of attempted obstruction of justice on allegations he conspired with Robert S. Currie to intimidate a witness scheduled to testify Jan. 30 at Currie's bond hearing, according to court records.
Currie, 23, of East Chicago was charged in September with murder and battery on allegations he fatally shot Ashanti “Bundles” Walden, 25, of Gary, on June 23, 2017, in the 4800 block of Alexander Avenue.
Currie allegedly asked Facen in recorded phone calls from Lake County Jail to attend the hearing so witnesses will “think twice,” and “tell the truth” when they testify about the shooting, records state.
Kasich told Judge Salvador Vasquez Monday the charges were overblown and requested his client's bond be reduced.
Kasich said the witness never showed up for the bond hearing and there is no information suggesting his client has ever had contact with the witness. He said police relied only on the men's “cryptic” conversations to file charges.
Deputy Prosecutor David Rooda said the defendant posed an “extreme danger to the community.”
Rooda said Facen was convicted in 2010 of burglary in Lake Criminal Court. Facen was sentenced to probation, but his probation was revoked and he served two years in Lake County Community Corrections.
Facen also has a 2012 federal conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The judge agreed a $5,000 cash bond was high for a level 6 felony. He cut the bond to $2,500.
A new court hearing is scheduled for March 26.