Judge grants bond reduction in Cape Girardeau shooting case

Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Thomas D. Evans Jr.

Editor's note: Information about Thomas Evan's bond has been corrected in this article.

The father of a Bellwood, Ill., man charged in the June murder of Matthew "Woody" Ervin in Cape Girardeau testified Monday before Circuit Court Judge Benjamin F. Lewis that if the $2 million bond were substantially lowered he'd post the money and monitor his son's activity.

Lewis said that although he didn't doubt the sincerity or integrity of Thomas D. Evans Sr.'s testimony, he wouldn't reduce bond below $1 million due to the circumstances of the case.

Thomas D. Evans Jr. is charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action for allegedly shooting Ervin near the intersection of Park Drive and North Fountain Street.

Lewis told Evans Jr. and his attorney, Steve Walsh, that if posting the reduced bond was an option, they'd need to call and discuss special conditions of release before he could leave jail.

Evans Sr., a Baptist minister in Bellwood, said if released he'd be with his son at all times and make sure he attends every court appearance and appointment with his attorney.

Walsh told the judge he expected to be spending a lot of time with his client as they form his defense for jury trial.

Cape Girardeau County assistant prosecuting attorney Angel Woodruff said she opposed any change in Evans' bond, saying that it's unacceptable he'd be crossing state lines. She also told the judge that Evans initially lied to the police about his identity but later confessed to shooting Ervin.

An affidavit filed by authorities in the case allege that in a third interview with police, Evans said Ervin made threats and appeared to be retrieving a gun from his vehicle, so he fired two shots at the victim out of self-defense. The shooting allegedly occurred after Evans and a Charleston, Mo., teen, Armster "Bud" Robinson III -- who is in custody in Georgia -- met Ervin at a south-side convenience store in Cape Girardeau.

Also at the hearing, Lewis and the attorneys decided to gather Feb. 18 to take up suppression motions.

They will go over pretrial motions April 15 and begin jury trial proceedings April 27.

As of 5 p.m. Monday, Evans remained in custody at the Cape Girardeau County Jail.

ehevern@semissourian.com

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