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TPD chief 'beyond frustrated' after man suspected of shooting at officer released without bond

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Posted at 10:13 AM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 22:18:46-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Tucson police Chief Chris Magnus took to Twitter to voice his concerns about a man arrested for a violent crime who was released without bond.

In a Wednesday morning tweet, Magnus said it was "beyond frustrating" that Zachary Lee -- who allegedly shot at a TPD officer Friday, was released without bond.

Lee faces charges including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Magnus expressed concern over the decision in a tweet:

Zachery Lee shot at a TPD sergeant on E. 29th St. last Fri. afternoon. Lee was arrested & charged w/Agg Assault w/deadly weapon. Yet, get this: The Tucson City Court judge released Lee on pretrial release w/NO bond over the prosecutor's request. Feel safe? Beyond frustrating.

The chief said the prosecutor requested a high bond for the suspect but the judge denied the request.

Pima County Attorney Laura Conover says ethics rules forbid her from commenting on this specific case but says her office is committed to high bond for people who pose a threat to the community---and anyone accused of firing a gun at someone is exactly that kind of threat.

“When we look at actually discharging a firearm, you can see how it goes up from there. We're going to be holding up a hard line on unlawful use of firearms, period.”

Conover is calling for low bond or no cash bond for non violent suspects who do not pose a threat to the community. Sheriff Chris Nanos has endorsed the idea as a way to reduce jail crowding and leave space for possibly dangerous suspects.

But Conover is clear a firearms charge justifies a high bond intended to make it more difficult for a possibly dangerous suspect to be free on bond. She says the law does offer options to increase someone’s bond through a new court ruling.

A source familiar with the case says the question of no bond and no jail time seems to connect to a report from pre-trial services that told the judge it was low risk to release Zachary Lee without bond because his family would supervise him, give him a place to stay and make sure he does not skip any court hearings.