- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A judge refused Tuesday to reduce bail for a pet store owner accused with a co-defendant of setting fire to the shop where 27 puppies were rescued.

Gloria Eun Hye Lee stood in shackles and kept her eyes focused on her hands while her lawyer contended that Lee’s previous escape conviction in California was a mistake.

Lee was convicted of that charge in December 2011 in connection with a 1998 case in Alaska involving larceny from a bank and fraud. Defense attorney Ozzie Fumo said Tuesday that Lee surrendered to authorities in Los Angeles and was not apprehended.

Lee lived in Los Angeles and Ventura counties before moving to Las Vegas in 2003.

Despite the contention by Fumo, Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Janiece Marshall refused to reduce bail for the 35-year-old Lee, who is being held on $310,000 bail at the Clark County jail in Las Vegas. She is awaiting a Feb. 27 preliminary hearing to determine if she should stand trial on arson, conspiracy, burglary and attempted animal cruelty charges.

Lee hasn’t entered a plea but her attorneys have said she’ll fight the charges.

A co-defendant, Kirk Bills, was arrested Friday by an FBI fugitive task force in Crown Point, Ind.

Bills, 27, a fledgling boxer who lost a bout in Indio, Calif., just days before the fire, remained jailed in Indiana, awaiting transfer to Las Vegas, Lake County jail Officer Jennifer Matthews said.

Bills and Lee face the same 31 charges and could be sentenced to decades in prison if they’re convicted.

It wasn’t clear if Bills had a lawyer, said Shanon Clowers, the Clark County prosecutor handling the case.

Clowers said profit appeared to be the motive for the Jan. 27 fire that damaged Lee’s Prince and Princess pet store and an adjacent business in a strip mall southwest of the Las Vegas Strip.

Authorities credited sprinklers with dousing flames until firefighters arrived and rescued all the puppies from their cages.

Court documents say Bills is seen on video pouring liquid from gasoline cans and igniting it while Lee collects files and leaves.


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