LIMA — A Lima man charged with murder appeared briefly in Allen County Common Pleas Court on Monday seeking a reduction in his $750,000 bond.
Stephen Johnston, the attorney for Quintel Estelle, argued that his client has led a law-abiding life prior to his arrest earlier this year in connection with the May 5 shooting death of Lima resident Donald Smith and should be released from jail to await trial on house arrest with a GPS ankle monitor.
Estelle, 38, is scheduled to stand trial Jan. 7 on the murder charge. He is accused of firing at least two shots from a handgun that caused Smith’s death in front of 939 Brice Ave. The death was Allen County’s third homicide of 2019.
Johnston argued that Smith attacked Estelle to start the confrontation.
Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Tony Miller strongly objected to any reduction in Estelle’s bond.
“Yes, the victim did confront Mr. Estelle at his home. But what happened, at best, was a fistfight. Then Mr. Estelle went inside the home and got a gun and shot (Smith) at least twice,” Miller said.
The prosecutor also noted for the court that Estelle had fled following the shooting and remained at large for a week.
“Yes he did flee the scene, but after talking to counsel he made arrangements to turn himself in on his own volition,” Johnston told the court. “We are requesting he be released on house arrest” pending his jury trial in January.
Judge Jeffrey Reed denied any reduction in Estelle’s bond. Several members of Estelle’s family, who had joined hands in prayer prior to the start of the hearing, left the courtroom in tears following the judge’s ruling.