ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - The daughter of a murdered St. Augustine woman appeared in court Thursday asking that her bond on an arrest on gun charges be reduced.
St. Johns County detectives investigating the death of Barbara Parchem say they consider Lilly Anne Chavez a person of interest her death, but she is only charged with two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Her bond was set at $400,000, which her attorney says in not appropriate for the charges against her.
"They didn't want to arrest her for what they're really doing -- holding her on a murder charge -- for which they don't have probable cause," said defense attorney Thomas Cushman.
Deputies arrested Chavez last week after detectives say they found nine guns in the home she shares with her boyfriend.
But her attorney says the normal bond on a weapons charge is closer to $10,000.
"They've tried to coerce her into confessing to something she didn't do, and needless to say, she didn't want to do that," Cushman said. "And that's when she decided she probably needed a lawyer."
Parcham (pictured, right) had been missing for over a month. Her body was found last week in a wooded area just south of the St. Johns, Flagler county border.
Because the warrant that led investigators to search Chavez home is sealed, it's not known if it was part of the homicide investigation, but a detective in the Parchem murder investigation took the stand to talk about what deputies found.
"Detectives are considering her as being a person of interest, just based on evidence and other testimony, but it doesn't mean she is the only person in this case that may be responsible for the death of Barbara Parchem," said St. Johns County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Catherine Payne.
Chavez's attorney says he's seen no evidence linking his client to her mother's death.
"If they're spending their time, wasting their time trying to get her to confess, obviously they're not doing an investigation looking for whoever did do the killing," Cushman said.
After hearing the evidence, the judge did say the two weapons charges were redundant, and dropped one, which reduced the bond for Chavez to $200,000.
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