Victims of vehicular death: ‘I beg you not to reduce his bond’

By David Knopf/Richmond News

ughter in the 2011 motor-vehicle death of a Richmond man will stay in jail on a $25,000 cash bond after the Dec. 11 testimony of a survivor and two of the victim’s relatives.

Associate Circuit Judge James Thompson turned down a request by defendant Robert Aliff’s public defender after hearing from Assistant Prosecutor Sarah Hartley and the witnesses.

“The state is very concerned about the safety of the community,” said Hartley, responding to Public Defender Melinda Troeger’s request to modify Aliff’s bond with a 10-percent requirement. If allowed, it would have enabled him to leave jail with a $2,500 payment.

Troeger argued that if Aliff, 39, could make bond he would be employed, live in Richmond and comply with any conditions imposed by the court, including fitting the defendant with a device that monitors a person’s blood-alcohol level.

But Gladys Stafford, the woman who drove the car in which 59-year-old passenger Bruce Sodders died after being struck head-on by Aliff, urged Thompson to deny any reduction.

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