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Release Denied Teen In Cabbie Killing But Bail Reduced For Youth Held As Accomplice In Murder

A teenager who confessed to his part in the murder of a Spokane taxi driver likely will remain in jail until his trial.

Superior Court Judge Paul Bastine on Thursday rejected Joshua Kaczor’s request to be released on electronic monitoring.

Bastine reduced the 17-year-old’s bail from $1 million to $100,000, but it’s unlikely the boy’s family will be able to raise that kind of money, public defender Scott Mason said.

Kaczor is charged with being an accomplice to first-degree murder in the March 6 shooting of Duane “Dusty” Hutsell.

Police say 21-year-old Alon Slater shot Hutsell twice in the head while Kaczor and another 17-year-old boy, Kory Ludwig, watched. Detectives said the three planned to rob and murder Hutsell when they called for a cab just before midnight.

Slater and Ludwig are both behind bars.

Mason said Kaczor was a good candidate for electronic monitoring because he is a lifelong resident of Spokane and has no violent convictions on his record.

In addition, Kaczor is restricted to his cell for all but two hours per day because state law requires he be separated from the adult population at the jail, Mason said.

The electronic monitoring device would restrict Kaczor from leaving his house. “He can’t leave his house, his yard, without setting off the alarm,” Mason said.

But people who live in Kaczor’s neighborhood and relatives of the slain cabbie pleaded with Bastine to keep the teenager behind bars, saying he was a troublemaker whom they feared.

“There has been no parental control in that home,” neighbor Jim Fields said of Kaczor’s family. “The Block Watch was basically formed because of that house.”

But Nancy Hartley, a family friend, called Kaczor “honest and a gentleman.

“Josh has never ever given us any reason not to trust him,” said Hartley, adding that Kaczor helped feed her horses when she broke her leg recently.

Bastine said he put “great weight” in the neighbors’ concerns and wasn’t convinced that Kaczor had the kind of support and supervision he would need if he were released on electronic monitoring.

Kaczor’s trial is scheduled to begin next month, but likely will be postponed until fall.

, DataTimes

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