Judge Keeps $500,000 Bond For West-side Casper Standoff Suspect
The man who allegedly robbed an angler at gunpoint and later holed up in his mother's attic during an armed standoff two weeks ago will have a preliminary hearing within a couple of weeks.
Natrona County Circuit Court Judge Michael Patchen granted the request of Zachary Lovelace's public defender to delay the preliminary hearing -- a hearing to determine whether a case should be bound over for trial -- that was set for Thursday.
Lovelace, 37, is charged with four counts of aggravated assault, one count of felony property destruction and one count of possession of a deadly weapon with unlawful intent. He could face up to 55 years in prison and $51,000 in fines if convicted on all charges.
After Patchen granted public defender Rob Oldham's request, Oldham asked the judge to lower Lovelace's bond from $500,000 to $50,000.
Oldham said he recognized the charges are serious, but said Lovelace has a minimal criminal history. He added people have sent him unsolicited correspondence saying Lovelace's behavior is way out of line from the man they know, and that arrangements could be made for him to be with his family.
But Assistant District Attorney Dan Itzen disagreed, saying the $500,000 bond is warranted because of the aggravated assault charges including shots fired at law enforcement as well as the armed robbery of a man who was fishing.
Patchen agreed, and said the court will continue the bond.
The case started when Lovelace allegedly approached a man who was fishing at the Bessemer Bend south fishing access about noon, Friday, June 2.
Lovelace drove a pickup, got out, asked for the man's cell phone to make an emergency call, but returned to the pickup and drove away. The man followed in his ATV, Lovelace drove the pickup in reverse to the man, pointed a handgun at him and ordered him to put his hands up.
The man waited until Lovelace drove away, went home, called his wife and called authorities. His wife tracked the stolen phone to the 6800 block of Sharrock Road.
Authorities went there, and Lovelace's mother said her son went into the attic of the house.
Officers pumped a chemical munition into the attic and Lovelace fire four shots from the attic to the general direction of officers.
The Natrona County Sheriff's Office activated its Special Response Team, and officers used a loudspeaker to communicate with Lovelace.
After several hours, Lovelace punched a hole through a ceiling in a bedroom, crawled out a window, tried to run away but slipped. Officers then took him into custody.