GREAT FALLS- A Cascade County judge increased bail for Michael Echeverria citing the seriousness of the changes he is facing.
Prosecutors charged Echeverria with kidnapping and assault in September.
Judge John Parker raised Echeverria’s bail to $500,000 and ordered that he not leave Cascade County.
During a bail hearing on Wednesday, Great Falls Police Detective Katie Cunningham testified that after the last hearing, Echeverria’s friend, Robert Fuentes, contacted the victim.
Fuentes allegedly told the victim that Echeverria’s family was very upset.
Cunningham recounted, “Robert had told her that they have evidence against her in this case, and they do not want to show it in court, but they will. He indicated that when they do that, it is going to [mess up] her life. He said that when her deception is shown in court that she will be charged with a felony. He continued to say, ‘The family and I want this to be over.’ He tried to have a conversion with her about what that would take to make this go away.”
After the hearing, police arrested Fuentes for tampering with a witness.
Fuentes had traveled to Great Falls with Echeverria’s sister and father to testify on Echeverria’s behalf.
If Echeverria is released on bond, he will be under house arrest and on GPS monitoring.
He also has to forfeit his passport before he can be released from jail.
A trial has been scheduled for March 5, 2018.