$1M bond for Lachey's Bar shooting suspect - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

$1M bond for Lachey's Bar shooting suspect

Lavoris Hightower (Provided by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office) Lavoris Hightower (Provided by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)
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Lavoris Hightower at his video arraignment Friday (FOX19 NOW/Frankie Jupiter) Lavoris Hightower at his video arraignment Friday (FOX19 NOW/Frankie Jupiter)
Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Magistrate Michael Bachman (FOX19 NOW/Frankie Jupiter) Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Magistrate Michael Bachman (FOX19 NOW/Frankie Jupiter)
OVER THE RHINE, OH (FOX19) -

Bond was set at $1 million Friday for the man accused of shooting the manager of Lachey's Bar in the face on Thanksgiving morning.

Lavoris Hightower, 36, appeared before Hamilton County Magistrate Michael Bachman in a brief video arraignment from the jail.

The magistrate said he had to set such a high bond due to Hightower's lengthy criminal record and pattern of failing to appear in court.

Hightower turned himself into authorities Thursday night, just hours after Cincinnati police announced his indictment on several charges related to the attack on Ellie Richardson.

He was charged with two counts of felonious assault and one count each of attempted murder, having weapons under disability and tampering with evidence.

If convicted on all charges, Hightower faces more than 25 years in prison.

His attorney said police have the wrong man. 

"Based on my conversation with my client, he didn't do it," Bennett said. "So until they have evidence to the contrary, I am under the belief he didn't do it."

Bennett would not discuss where his client said he was the night of the shooting. 

Richardson, meanwhile, is out of the hospital and recovering at home but faces more surgery, her family wrote in a Facebook post this week.

She was shot in the face early Thanksgiving morning after she closed up and left the bar.

A man nearly hit her with his vehicle and then opened fire on her after she argued with someone in a van, police have said.

Police worked non-stop to track down the suspect, examining surveillance video over the holiday weekend and gathering as many details as they could from witnesses.

"First, Hightower nearly runs Ms. Richardson over with his car, and then he shoots her -- unbelievable," said Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters.

"Cincinnati has worked very hard to improve the area where the shooting occurred. This type of heartless act has the potential of ruining years of progress. He needs to go to jail for a long time."

Nick Lachey and Drew Lachey and their pop group "98 Degrees" are holding a Dec. 15 benefit concert for her at the Aronoff. Proceeds will help Richardson in her recovery. Tickets are now on sale.

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