(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) – The international student charged in the homicide of a local bar owner can now bond out of jail.
Bond was set at $2 million Friday for Ziyad T. Abid, the 23-year-old Saudi Arabian national who was charged Sept. 5 with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of William Blaine Whitworth. Whitworth was shot and killed in his driveway Sept. 1 at 1006 Sunflower on the east side of Warrensburg.
Reginald L. Singletary, 27, was also charged Sept. 5 with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the case.
Singletary told police after he was arrested that he shot Whitworth with a handgun “at the request of Ziyad T. Abid in exchange for money from Abid,” according to court records.
Associate Court Judge Wanda Sue Dodson ruled Sept. 6 that Abid, who was studying aviation at the University of Central Missouri, be held without bail, agreeing with Johnson County Prosecuting Attorney Lynn Stoppy that Abid was a flight risk.
Johnson County Sheriff Chuck Heiss testified at the arraignment that he spoke with a Homeland Security agent and determined that Abid was a flight risk despite the fact that Abid had to forfeit his passport, travel documents and pilot’s license.
Heiss said the agent told him that the Saudi government would seek to remove Abid from the U.S. if he were allowed to make bail. Heiss said there was little to nothing the local jurisdiction could do to prevent Abid from fleeing if he was granted bond.
“It doesn’t serve the notion of justice in Johnson County,” Dodson said of Abid’s flight risk during the Sept. 6 arraignment.
Abid and Singletary appeared separately for arraignment Oct. 9. Both pleaded not guilty.
Singletary is being held at the Johnson County Jail on $1 million bond. His attorney recently requested a change of venue.