RIDGWAY - A Ridgway man incarcerated since July 24 on arson and related charges, as well as charges of attempted murder and assault, was in Elk County Court Monday appealing for a reduction in bail so that he may be released from jail and return home while awaiting trial.
Francis Anthony Milliard, 54, of 76 Long Level Rd., Ridgway, waived arraignment and entered not guilty pleas Monday in five separate cases against him, including a 2010 Ridgway arson, a 2008 Johnsonburg arson, the assault of a Ridgway man, firearms possession by a convicted felon, and a drug offense.
Milliard's bail for the two arson and attempted murder cases totals $400,000 cash and his attorney Michael R. Hadley is seeking to have the amount reduced in each of the three cases to $50,000 and the type of bail changed from cash to secured by real property.
This would mean that Milliard could use his property, consisting of the Long Level Road residence, which is a rehabilitated two-floor Victorian home situated on 23 acres of property, and his antique shop on Market Street in Johnsonburg, as collateral in posting bail.
Hadley said based on current assessments, Milliard's properties are worth an estimated $208,000 in combined equity.
Bail in the two cases involving firearms and drug offenses is $10,000 each and not currently being contested by Milliard's attorney. Judge Richard Masson explained additional determinations may be needed when considering bail modification for a drug charge to ensure that proceeds from that alleged criminal activity are not used to fund the posting of bail.