King gets $500K bond

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 21, 2003

Bond has been set at $500,000 in the case of Lee Arthur King, who is charged with the murder of Patricia Johnson.

Johnson, 40, was found by relatives in the woods behind the Craig Motel Feb. 9.

The district attorney’s office argued that the bond should be high because of the nature of the offense.

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Also, law enforcement has not yet found a permanent address where for King, 45. This, along with the fact that King is known to have contacts in the state of Texas, warranted a high bond, stated the district attorney’s office.

Because of King’s connection with Texas, the district attorney’s office stated that flight could be a possibility.

Kyra Sparks, attorney for King

said that she would ask District Court Judge Nathaniel Walker at King’s preliminary hearing to reconsider the bond amount.

The preliminary hearing is scheduled to take place March 4.

Sparks said that she didn’t learn of the bond hearing until the day after it had taken place. Another attorney, David Norton, stood in her place.

The preliminary hearing, Sparks said, will give the state a chance to present evidence and possibly even eyewitnesses.

Walker could then rule whether or not there was probable cause to hold King.

The district attorney’s office stated that only a portion of their case would be presented at the preliminary hearing.

The burden of proof at the hearing will only reach the level of probable cause. That means only enough witnesses will be put on the stand to prove probable cause, according to the district attorney’s office.

Johnson was first reported missing by her mother, Lucy Freeman, Feb. 6. The last time Freeman saw her daughter was Feb. 4, when she brought King and Johnson back to the Craig Motel.

Freeman and Johnson were supposed to have met the next day, but Johnson couldn’t be located. Freeman contacted the Selma Police Department that Thursday and reported her daughter missing.

Freeman returned to the motel with relatives that Sunday, Feb. 9, and asked the motel manager if she could look in the woods for her daughter, according to the manager. Shortly afterwards Freeman called 911 to report her daughter’s death.