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Judge denies reduced bond for murder suspect

An Elba man accused of murder and attempted murder in connection with a shooting in Opp saw his request for a bond reduction denied Thursday in a Covington County court.

Kanavis Cole, 23, is charged with murder for the shooting death of 20-year-old Demetrice Hines. Cole is also charged with the attempted murder of 26-year-old James Danshay Edwards. Both men were residents of Opp. The charges stem from an incident at the Little Harlem Club in Opp, where Cole allegedly opened fire at approximately 1:30 the morning of June 8. Aside from Hines and Edwards, three other people were seriously injured in the incident. Hines died from his injuries a short time later at Mizell Memorial Hospital.

Thursday, a request that Cole’s $1.5 million bond be reduced was denied by District Judge Julie Moody.

Covington County District Attorney Walt Merrell argued against Cole’s bond being reduced. Merrell said the bond was appropriate considering the heinous nature of the crime, adding there were several other factors to be considered in the decision.

“Rule 7.2 of the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure says that a judge can consider the defendant’s ties to the community (and Cole) has none,” Merrell said. “The defendant’s prior criminal record (can be considered) and he has three arrests in Connecticut; violence in the alleged commission of the offense, multiple gunshots and multiple victims; type of weapon, gun.”

Merrell said other factors include the residence of the defendant, adding that evidence suggests that Cole was estranged from his father and was bouncing around, staying off and on at the homes of multiple friends. Merrell said Moody also had to consider whether Cole was a flight risk, adding that he fled the scene of the crime.

“Given the totality of the circumstances, I urged the judge to leave (bond) where it was,” Merrell said. “She agreed.”

According to officials with the Covington County Circuit Clerk’s office, Cole’s case has been remanded to a grand jury.