Shooting suspect Araim pleads not guilty
Prineville shooting suspect Omar Ramzi Araim has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and other charges related to a shooting on New Year's Day.
Araim appeared at a Crook County Circuit Court hearing via video from Jefferson County Jail on Tuesday afternoon, represented by Portland-based defense attorney Mark Cogan, who was hired to replace Bryan Donahue, a Bend attorney.
His court hearing came one day after he turned himself into authorities after posting bail and leaving Crook County against court orders.
Araim was arrested and jailed on Jan. 1 after allegedly shooting Bend man Nicholas Ricks multiple times in the chest at Crossroads BBQ Pit & Pub. Ricks was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
According to Crook County District Attorney Wade Whiting, security was set at $710,000, a higher amount than usual for the charges Araim faced.
"When he was arraigned on the information for the charges, I argued, based on a whole host of factors … for the bail to be set much higher," Whiting said last week. Those factors included the nature of the offense as well as Araim's dual citizenship in the United States and United Kingdom.
While setting a higher bail was an option, having no bail was not.
"The main instance where the judge does a no bail hold is for murder and aggravated murder," Whiting said. "This being an attempted murder case, the presumptive bail that is established by the presiding judge is $250,000."
Araim was able to post 10 percent cash, $71,000, to get out of custody and left Crook County late last week, violating his release agreement. After it was determined that Araim had fled, Circuit Court Judge Daina Vitolins signed an order Friday afternoon revoking his release agreement and issuing a warrant for his arrest. She also ordered his security be forfeited.
The same day, a Crook County grand jury returned a true bill indictment charging Araim with attempted murder, first-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon, and eight counts of recklessly endangering another person.
Authorities were not able to locate Araim until he turned himself in at 12:45 p.m. Monday.
During Tuesday's court appearance, Cogan opted not to request a release hearing for Araim, so a no-security hold will remain in effect. Cogan also chose not to address the security forfeiture order during the hearing.
Araim's next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 31 at 1:30 p.m.