ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - A St. Johns County judge on Friday cut the bond on a weapons charge for the daughter of a murdered St. Augustine woman from $200,000 to $25,000.
During a bond reduction hearing Thursday, St. Johns County detectives investigating the death of Barbara Parchem said they consider Lilly Anne Chavez a person of interest her death, but she is only charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Deputies arrested Chavez last week after detectives say they found nine guns in the home she shares with her boyfriend.
Her bond was initially set at $400,000, which her attorney said 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. "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."
After the hearing, Circuit Judge Clyde Wolfe consolidated the two charges against Chavez to one and cut the bond in half. On Friday, Wolf issued an order dropping bond to $25,000.
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.
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