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Judge Reneges On $250,000 Bond For Man Charged With Premeditated First Degree Murder

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Pamela Cahanes was a Navy recruit finishing basic training in Orlando when she was killed 34 years ago. A suspect was just charged in her murder.

A man charged with premeditated first degree murder in a 34-year-old cold case can no longer bond out of jail.

Judge Fred Schott reconsidered his decision over the weekend. Thomas Lewis Garner was originally granted a $250,000 bond on Friday.

At Garner’s first appearance in court, the judge said he had no significant criminal history in Florida. Schott asked the public defender and the state prosecutor what they thought should be the appropriate bail amount. The public defender did not give an amount, and the state prosecutor’s position was for no bail.

After setting the bail, Schott ordered Garner to go on a no fly list, have a GPS tracker and remain in the state. 

But the next day he was not given the option to bond out. Garner’s public attorney Jeff Dowdy said it raises concerns because no additional evidence was added.

“It’s unusual especially from a Friday to a Saturday, but it is the same judge and the judge does have that discretion,” Dowdy said. “I gotta speak with my client to see if he has the financial resources to be able to post such a bond.”

Garner has been working as a dental hygienist in Jacksonville. 

The 18th Judicial Circuit of Seminole County said Schott had reconsidered his initial decision to grant bail. Garner is now waiting for a hearing that would allow his attorney to argue the bond decision. 

Investigators were able to identify Garner’s DNA by using a genealogy method of matching and finding familial DNA. For legal advocates, the process solicits unease surrounding privacy and legality.

The charge is the first arrest in the 34-year-old cold case for the murder of Pamela Cahanes, a Navy recruit finishing basic training in Orlando. Cahanes and Garner were both staying at the former Naval base by Baldwin Park.




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About Emily Lang

Emily Lang