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Bond set in Valpo attempted murder case at $500K cash, $250K surety

A judge set bond at $500,000 cash and $250,000 surety Wednesday for a Valparaiso man charged with attempted murder in a case that, according to court documents, may have left a woman with “substantial brain damage.”

Conner Kobold, 19, also is charged with aggravated battery after calling police to his home in Valparaiso’s Greenfield Creek subdivision on Monday afternoon and telling them he “killed somebody in that house,” according to charging documents. Court documents have identified the victim as a relative.

Porter County Deputy Prosecutor Harry Peterson asked for bond to be set at $500,000 cash and $500,000 surety, given the nature of the crime, the danger Kobold could pose to the community and the possibility that he would flee.

Peterson requested that Kobold wear an ankle monitor if released.

Kobold, appearing via videoconference before Porter Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Clymer for his initial hearing, told the court he had no job, no prospects for one, could not afford any bond and, if released on bond, had no residence to go to, other than a “halfway home or homeless shelters.”

Kobold is young and does not have a prior criminal history, Nathaniel Henson, a public defender assigned to handle the hearing, said. Both he and Peterson said Kobold, through an inmate assessment, is considered a moderate risk if he is released from jail.

Henson said he understood the state’s concerns given the allegations in the charging documents but “they are allegations.”

“What the state is asking for here is excessive but I do think bond is appropriate,” Henson said, asking bond to be set at $10,000 with pretrial services.

According to a no-contact order filed in the case Tuesday, the victim is Kobold’s relative. The no contact order, which includes three other people, might prohibit Kobold from living at his home address, Clymer said.

Kobold said he understood the conditions of the order, which include not seeing the protected parties, and having no contact with them via phone or social media.

Kobold qualified for bond under the law, Clymer said, given the charges against him. “I specifically find the defendant is a danger to others,” the judge said, adding being a flight risk did not carry as much weight before he established the bond.

Police were not able to provide an update on the victim’s condition Wednesday. She was transported to Northwest Health-Porter after police found her in the home unresponsive and not breathing.

Medical staff observed small ligature marks on the female’s neck, according to charging documents, and the staff also said the alleged victim’s injuries were “of grave danger, as they believe she has suffered substantial brain damage.”

Kobold was served with an eviction notice Monday, according to court records, after the victim sent Kobold a Dec. 26 letter outlining conditions he needed to meet during a 30-day timeframe to avoid being evicted from their home.

Among the conditions listed were securing full-time employment and keeping his room clean, and contributing to the cleanliness of the residence’s common areas.

Clymer appointed Mark Chargualaf as Kobold’s public defender and set his next hearing for 10 a.m. on April 12. A final pretrial hearing was scheduled for 10 a.m. on June 7, with jury selection slated for 1 p.m. July 8.

Attempted murder is a Level 1 felony with a sentencing range of 20 to 40 years in prison upon conviction; aggravated battery is a Level 3 felony with a sentence of 3 to 16 years.

Around 3:48 p.m. on Feb. 5, Valparaiso Police were dispatched to the area of Diamond Boulevard for a report of a male stating, “I need you to send a police car here right now,” according to court documents.

Police found a heavy police presence outside of Kobold’s residence. Officers already on the scene said Kobold was waving them down at the intersection of Goodrich Road and Diamond Boulevard and said he confirmed he had called police.

Kobold “immediately asked to be placed into handcuffs and in the back seat of the patrol vehicle,” charging documents state.

Unprovoked, Kobold told police, “There is a dead person inside of the house on the corner,” according to the charges. When an officer asked to confirm there was a dead person, Kobold said, “yeah, I killed somebody in that house,” which the officer also confirmed.

An officer observed superficial scratches on Kobold’s face, documents said.

Police conducted a protective sweep of the residence and found a female in the living room who was unconscious and unresponsive, with no pulse and not breathing.

The female was transported to Northwest Health-Porter while Kobold was taken to the Valparaiso Police Department for questioning. Police said in the charging documents that there was a sign of a struggle where the female was located, including furniture that was disturbed.

Valparaiso Police said in a release that the case was believed to be isolated to the individuals involved and there was no threat to the general public.

Officials ask that anyone with information about the incident contact the Valparaiso Police Department at 219-462-2135. Information can also be texted to TIP411 (847-411) and enter “Valpo” in the message field before sending the message. Use the word “Diamond” in the first line of the tip to identify the case.