Suspects arraigned in Warrensburg businessman's murder
12:05 PM, Sep 6, 2012
8:44 PM, Sep 6, 2012
WARRENSBURG, Mo. - Two men charged in the death of a Warrensburg, Mo., bar owner were arraigned Thursday afternoon. Ziyad Abid, 23, and Reginald Singletary, Jr., 27 said little while in a Johnson County courtroom.
They are charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action for the killing 25-year-old William "Blaine" Whitworth, who was shot to death in his driveway Saturday night.
According to court documents, Singletary said Abid paid him to carry out the crime. A motive has not been revealed.
By the end of Thursday's arraignment, Judge Wanda Sue Dodson revoked the $1 million bond for Abid, agreeing with prosecution that he is a "significant flight risk."
Johnson County Prosecuting Attorney Lynn Stoppy said Abid - a student at the University of Central Missouri - is in the process of being expelled from the school. Stoppy said Abid is in the United States on a student visa from Saudi Arabia, which will be revoked once he is no longer a student.
Without a visa, Abid would be forced out of the country. Although Abid's travel credentials have been confiscated, Stoppy said he could be reissued a new passport from a Saudi embassy or consulate.
Johnson County Sheriff Chuck Heiss testified he worked with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and discovered Abid comes from a wealthy family, and along with his father, is a pilot.
If Abid left the country, Stoppy said he would be nearly impossible to bring back. The judge agreed, revoking his bond.
The decision is a relief to Whitworth's family and friends.
"He is not going anywhere and therefore we can somewhat feel safe and feel kind of like everything's moving in the right direction," said friend Kristopher Haddock.
Singletary's bond stands at $1 million as both men remain in the Johnson County Jail.
Neither defendants have an attorney yet, and both will be back in court on September 12 to update the court on their representation. Preliminary hearings are scheduled for November 7.
Whitworth's funeral is set for Saturday in Garden City.