By David Knopf/Richmond News
Compromise was the order of the day Friday during a bond-reduction hearing for a suspect in the Michelle Rheuport strangulation death.
In response to a motion by Jarrett Johnson, attorney for suspect Lauren Gabbard, Judge David Miller agreed to reduce Gabbard’s bond from $1 million to $100,000 cash – or $100,000 with a surety bond.
Gabbard is one of three suspects charged with murder in Rhueport’s May 23 death in her Richmond home. Gabbard and fellow suspect James Gant, though not alleged to be present when Rhueport was killed, are charged with second-degree murder taking part in a conspiracy that resulted in the woman’s death, Prosecutor Danielle Rogers said.
Brandon Simpson is identified in a police affidavit as the suspect believed to have entered Rhueport’s home and strangled her. Simpson, a former all-state wrestler and football player for Richmond High School, is charged with first-degree murder.
All three suspects are charged with two addition felonies – burglary and stealing a controlled substance. Simpson is further charged with a misdemeanor for assaulting a law-enforcement officer.