VALPARAISO | A judge denied a lower bond Friday for one of two Hammond men charged with a 2012 double homicide just outside of Valparaiso.
Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper upheld her original bond of $100,000 cash and $50,000 surety after learning that police overhead a call from the jail where Alejandro Sanchez, 21, was offered two travel tickets and $5,000.
Harper also voiced concern about testimony that Sanchez has no ties to the local community, faces a massive penalty if found guilty and has a history of gang affiliation.
Sanchez and co-defendant Julius Garza are charged with the April 7, 2012, shooting deaths of Jeffery Trinka, 40, of Valparaiso, and Jennifer Guinn, 31, of Hammond, at a house in the 1500 block of Lincolnway in Center Township.
Bond is supposed to serve the dual purpose of assuring the accused returns for court and protect the community, according to Friday's hearing.
Defense attorney Mitch Peters sought to have the bond reduced to $20,000 cash, arguing Sanchez has a limited criminal background involving drugs and gun possession, is no longer affiliated with a gang and has an incentive to return to trial based on the favorable evidence.
Deputy Prosecutor Cheryl Polarek said evidence presented Friday indicating Sanchez is a danger to the community and a flight risk better supports a bond increase than decrease.
Porter County Sheriff Sgt. Tim Manteuffel, who is the lead detective in the case, told the court Sanchez admitted to having been shot at in an earlier incident.
Sanchez also has a gang tattoo, knew there was a warrant out for his arrest at the time of the double homicide and had told Garza he needed to lay low so as to stay out of jail.
Sanchez is scheduled to go to trial Aug. 18 and Garza on Sept. 22.