Bail is reduced in shooting

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When Keven Custer isn’t behind bars, he’s doing drugs and menacing others.

That was the argument of a prosecutor this week who attempted to stymie a bail reduction motion for Custer, who is in the Kootenai County jail on a felony aggravated assault and a misdemeanor petit theft charge.

A Kootenai County district judge Thursday reduced Custer’s bail from $89,000 to $10,000 on the assault charge after hearing arguments from both sides, which included a sharp reprimand from the defense, accusing prosecutors of embellishing.

“That is a false representation,” defense attorney Jay Logsdon said in Coeur d’Alene’s First District Court. “The state is simply making things up today.”

Custer, 27, of Athol, was acquitted by a jury in April for shooting a man seven times at a Post Falls apartment complex. Chris Gunderson survived the shooting and was dismayed to see Custer walk free after jurors found Custer had acted in self defense. Gunderson had punched Custer, knocked him to the ground and dislodged Custer’s teeth before Custer fired at him with a 9 mm handgun.

After Custer’s release from jail, he was charged in July with two counts of possession of a controlled substance, two counts of burglary and aggravated assault for allegedly stealing gasoline and an iPod and iPad, and attempting to break into his mother’s Athol home by puncturing the door with a knife.

Most of the charges, however were dismissed. One count of aggravated assault and one count of petit theft against Custer remain.

At this week’s bond reduction hearing, Logsdon asked the judge to release Custer so he could go to drug treatment and live with his dad in Priest River.

“He will be on a tight leash with his father,” Logsdon said.

Deputy prosecutor Donna Gardner objected.

“He is a dangerous individual,” Gardner told the court. “He shot someone seven times, he was using meth at the time … He was released and used meth when he stole from his mother … He was trespassed and showed up again … There was an aggravated assault with a neighbor … He was on drugs … He pawned the items at a pawn shop … His mother does not want him out of custody.”

Logsdon called the prosecutor a liar.

“I am appalled by everything the state said today,” Logsdon said. “They are complete lies.”

Judge Scott Wayman kept the no-contact order in place Thursday when he reduced bail on the aggravated assault charge to $10,000 and released Custer on his own recognizance on the petit theft charge.

“The defendant has a serious drug addiction,” Wayman said. “He has been in custody for some time now.”

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