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Judge denies reduced bond in 1976 murder case


ELYRIA — A judge Wednesday refused to reduce the bond for a man recently arrested in connection with the 1976 slaying of Dorothy Spencer.

Bobbie New appeared before Lorain County Common Pleas Court Judge James Burge on Wednesday during which time his attorney, Gerald Smith, argued that his bond should be reduced because New didn’t leave the area, even though he knew the investigation into Spencer’s death had been re-opened, so he shouldn’t be deemed a flight risk.

New, who was a suspect in the case initially, was arrested after his nephew came forward following the death of his mother and told investigators that New, who was 34 in 1976, had come to his parents’ home on March 14, 1976, and told them he had shot Spencer in her Camden Township trailer.

The nephew, whose name has not been released, told deputies he went out with New to search for the .38-caliber revolver used to shoot Spencer, which New said he had tossed on Quarry Road. The weapon has never been recovered.

The nephew later called New at the behest of police and told him that his mother had left documents describing what she knew about Spencer’s killing that were to be forwarded to prosecutors upon her death. New, authorities said, didn’t deny killing Spencer during the recorded call but instead questioned the nephew about who had seen the letter and told him not to show it to anyone.

Authorities so far have refused to release copies of the recorded call.

The Chronicle-Telegram has requested it and Burge plans to hold a hearing next week to decide whether the recording should be made public prior to trial.

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