Police officer arraigned for Sodus double homicide; lawyer says not a willing part of killings

November 19, 2018 09:55 PM

A lawyer for Bron Bohlar, the Texas policeman accused of involvement in the murder of a Sodus couple, insisted his client was an innocent man who never knowingly helped in the killings of two people.

"That's not the kind of person he is," declared Rochester attorney James Riotto. "He had no knowledge that any of this was taking place. He certainly wouldn't have been involved in it."

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Bohlar was arraigned in Sodus Town Court Sunday morning and ordered held on a $500,000 bond. 

In a second court appearance on Monday, Judge Thomas Putnam reduced Bohlar's bond to $300,000 and scheduled his next court date for 7 p.m. on Nov. 28.

Sunday's felony complaint charges Bohlar with felony second-degree conspiracy in connection with the Oct. 22 shooting deaths of Joshua Niles, 28, and Amber Washburn, 24, outside their home in Sodus.

Bohlar was a police officer in the same department in Sunray, Texas as former Police Chief Timothy Dean, who is accused of being the shooter in the killings. 

Dean was charged with murder in the case and remains locked up in the Moore County Texas Jail on unrelated charges. 

Dean's wife, Charlene Childers, a former girlfriend of Niles with whom she had two children, was charged with conspiracy in Sodus Town Court in early November.

In the formal complaint, Wayne County Detective Thomas Virts accuses Bohlar of meeting with Dean and Childers in Dean's garage and talking about plans to kill Niles. 

The document further says that Bohlar "helped Timothy Dean to rent a vehicle for him to drive to New York to kill Joshua E. Niles."  

Riotto maintains that Bohlar had no idea the car was to be taken on an interstate murder plot. 

"It was his understanding it was going to be for local use because his car broke down. He [Dean] just needed help. That was it," Riotto added.

Prosecutors had asked for a high bond for Bohlar, concerned that with no family in the Sodus area, he might be a flight risk who would disappear if he were released from custody.

"His lack of connections to this community and residing in Texas is a big concern for his ability to come, to return to court," said Christine Callanan, Wayne County second assistant district attorney.  

Riotto countered that, with his law enforcement career and young children, even in Texas, Bohlar was not one to flee from justice and affirmed an intention to prove his innocence.

"He has dedicated his life to saving people, helping people," he said. "To somehow turn that all around, throw it all away, to be involved in something like this, this is not consistent with the character he has."


Charles Molineaux

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