For the second time this month, the Virginia Court of Appeals has overruled a Stafford judge’s decision to grant bond to a county defendant.
Judge Victoria Willis last month granted a $25,000 personal recognizance bond with multiple restrictions to a man accused of killing his roommate Jan. 15 at their apartment on Setter Circle in Silver Collection at Celebrate. Prosecutor Jay Chichester immediately appealed the ruling, and the higher court handed down its decision Wednesday.
Kevin Monsivais, 25, is charged with second-degree murder and other offenses in connection with the death of Jareal Marryshow, who was shot in the head at point-blank range. Defense attorney Jason Pelt argued during the bond hearing that the shooting was an accident that occurred during a night of heavy drinking.
The appeals court wrote that Willis abused her discretion because the evidence presented at the hearing was “insufficient” to rebut the legal presumption against bail. The ruling added that the judge did not specify what facts that she found rebutted the presumption.
The appeals court noted that the evidence showed that Monsivais, a Marine veteran, placed the muzzle of the gun against the victim’s temple. It was also noted that Monsivais had his passport and $1,500 in cash when he was apprehended at a Fredericksburg motel; his family lives in Texas.
Pelt, the defense attorney, called the appeals court decision “disappointing and unexpected.”
The Stafford Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office also successfully appealed Willis’ decision to grant bond to a man accused of shooting at another vehicle during a road-rage incident in late 2019. A prosecutor said Larry Edward Johnson was a “self-admitted” gang member and would pose a danger if released; he had been denied bond several times previously.
The appeals court earlier this month ruled that Willis “abused” her discretion in that case as well. Neither Monsivais nor Johnson ever got out of jail, as Willis ordered them held until the appeals court addressed their cases.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404