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January 29, 2014

Judge sets $500,000 bond for Caldwell

TRAVERSE CITY — A judge set a $500,000 bond for a Traverse City man accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend.

Robert Lee-Allen Caldwell, 33, on Tuesday appeared via video for arraignment before 86th District Court Judge Michael Haley on felony charges connected with the Nov. 19 shooting death of Monica June Anderson, 28, in an Aero Park Drive apartment.

“The charges are serious,” said Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Bob Cooney. “If convicted, Mr. Caldwell is almost certain to go to prison.”

Caldwell faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, discharge of a firearm under the influence causing death, felony firearm and resisting and obstructing a police officer. He claims he held a loaded pistol to his forehead intending to kill himself but flinched, accidentally shooting and mortally wounding Anderson.

A police investigation finished in December cites no evidence to contradict Caldwell’s basic story or indicate he intended to shoot Anderson. Cooney said charges match the facts of the case.

“As prosecutor, I’ve got to go with the evidence I (have) got and what it proves,” Cooney said. “I think it’s important to remember there was an extensive investigation and the defendant fully cooperated with investigators. I would caution people against speculating when they haven’t reviewed the facts of the case.”

Haley set a $500,000 cash or surety bond that will keep Caldwell jailed after his upcoming release from Leelanau County’s jail on a probation violation conviction. Caldwell requested a court-appointed attorney.

A preliminary examination is scheduled for Feb. 11 at 11 a.m.

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