Flight risk costs homicide suspect $500K bond

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LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Dec.  31, 2014) -William Alexander Paz’s car was packed, apparently ready to leave town when Lafayette police caught up with him Saturday during their investigation of the body found Christmas morning according to the Lafayette Journal & Courier.

Because of this, police believe Paz, 42, is a flight risk, and his bond was set Monday at $500,000 cash, according to a hearing Tuesday afternoon.

On Monday, Tippecanoe County Criminal Magistrate Sean Persin approved prosecutors’ request for a 72-hour extension to file charges against Paz. That gives prosecutors until Friday to file formal charges, or Paz will be released from jail.

Since Paz, who is not a U.S. citizen, did not appear to understand Monday’s proceedings, a second hearing was held Tuesday with a Spanish translator.

Lafayette police have accused Paz of failure to report a dead body, false information, assisting a criminal with murder, possession of false government documents and obstruction of justice, according to jail records and Tuesday’s hearing.

During the hearing, Paz told the court he did not understand the false government document allegations, saying that his paperwork is authentic. Persin instructed Paz that it is a preliminary accusation, and he has not been formally charged with that yet.

Paz said he’s been in Lafayette for three years and works at a restaurant. Through the translator, he told the court he is talking with his family to determine if they can afford to hire an attorney to represent him. Persin informed Paz that if he did not have an attorney by Friday, the court would appoint one for him.

Calls and emails to Lafayette police detectives for comment about Paz’s arrest and preliminary charges were not returned Tuesday or Wednesday.

When charges are filed, the probable cause affidavit detailing the allegations against Paz will be unsealed, but for now it — as well as the search warrants pertaining to the investigation into the body found Christmas morning — are not open for public inspection.

Police have worked all week trying to find out how the man found dead Christmas morning along Sagamore Parkway died and who killed him. So far, Paz, who was arrested Saturday night, appears to be the only person in custody associated with the killing.

A passer-by noticed the body lying beside the road about 7:30 a.m. Christmas Day and reported it to police, and a neighbor who lives across the street said the body was dressed only in boxer shorts and socks.

An autopsy Saturday determined the death was a homicide, but Tippecanoe County Coroner Donna Avolt refused to comment on the victim’s injuries.