SHOW LOW—The man who led police on a six-hour manhunt earlier this month has been indicted by a Navajo County Grand Jury. John Russell Thomas, 29, hometown unknown, has been charged with six felony counts and one misdemeanor charge for allegedly shooting his father and brother and assaulting his girlfriend in the early hours of June 5 in the 1000 block of Deer Park Drive in the Fawnbrook neighborhood.
According to Show Low Police, the two men tried to intervene while Thomas was allegedly trying to strangle his girlfriend, Maria Rosalez, during a domestic dispute in a trailer next to a residence at 3:46 am. The two gunshot victims were flown to the Phoenix area for treatment.
On June 11, the grand jury handed up its indictment for two counts of attempted second degree murder, Class 2 felonies, two counts of aggravated assault, Class 3 felonies, one count of domestic violence aggravated assault, a Class 4 felony, one count of tampering with evidence, a Class 6 Felony, and one count of preventing the use of a telephone in an emergency, a Class 2 misdemeanor.
Thomas has pled not guilty, and has been given a court-appointed attorney.
Last Friday, he appeared in court for a hearing on the issue of release pending trial. This father and brother, the alleged victims also appeared. The state asked the judge to allow contact between Thomas and those family members; the judge allowed it.
Next up was the issue of release. Pretrial service officials prepared a report on Thomas and found him to be no flight risk, and without prior felony offenses or incarceration. They recommended an”O-R” release—on his own recognizance. Judge Ralph Hatch wasn’t so sure and took the matter under advisement.
Last Monday, Hatch ordered Thomas to be held, but changed the terms of the bond. Thomas was being held on a cash only, $1 million bond. The judge kept the amount of the bond but allowed for a secured bond, meaning that a bondsman could post a bond secured by $900,000 in property and 10 percent ($100,000) in cash.
Thomas is set for a pretrial conference July 31.