Bond reduced for suspect in beating of elderly couple

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 23, 2010

NATCHEZ — Deon D. Woods, the 19-year-old man accused of beating an elderly couple in April, was given a $500,000 bond, which was reduced from $1.25 million at a justice court hearing Tuesday.

At the suggestion of county prosecutor Barrett Martin, Judge Patricia Dunmore ordered $100,000 for each of Woods’ two counts of assault and $300,000 for armed robbery.

Woods received the bond reduction in exchange for waiving his right to a preliminary hearing, Woods’ attorney Ramel Cotton said, which is a common practice at this stage in the legal process. Cotton said the bond was set to ensure his client shows up at court.

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Seven witnesses, friends and family attended the hearing on Woods’ behalf. Woods sat still but repeatedly moved his eyes between his lawyer, the prosecutor and the judge as they discussed his case at the bench.

The case will be heard in front of a grand jury next, to determine whether to proceed.

Woods, along with LaKendrick D. Allen, 22, were arrested after the Adams County Sheriff’s Office seized a .9 mm handgun from Woods, and the elderly woman identified it as the gun used to commit the crime, Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said in April.

The elderly couple was at home when two men knocked on their door. When the man answered, he was allegedly pistol-whipped by Woods, who also reportedly pistol-whipped the woman when she tried to call 911.

In an unrelated case, Sonya Irene Robertson, the woman who allegedly shot a man in April in self-defense, received a bond of $100,000, down from $250,000, at a separate hearing Tuesday.

Dunmore instructed Robertson she was unable to carry weapons and must follow a 10 p.m. curfew until the next phase of her trial.

Robertson was arrested by ACSO in April on charges of aggravated assault (domestic violence).