LOS ANGELES – A judge on Tuesday increased bail from $2 million to $10 million for a former Los Angeles police officer accused of fatally shooting a man following a fistfight at a Pomona bar on March 13 and then fleeing to Mexico.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Upinder S. Kalra noted that Henry Solis is accused of “fleeing the jurisdiction almost immediately” after Salome Rodriguez Jr.‘s killing, and “apparently he had a network assisting him in avoiding detection.”
In agreeing to grant the prosecution’s request to increase the 27-year-old former officer’s bail, the judge said, “$10 million does not seem too extraordinary.”
The judge also ordered Solis to surrender his passport and have a GPS monitor placed on him if he is able to post the bond.
Deputy District Attorney Sandi Roth told the judge that Solis’ father –Lancaster resident Victor Solis –told Pomona Police Department investigators that he had driven his son to a bus stop in Texas and left him there.
The prosecutor said video footage subsequently showed the two crossing over the Mexican border.
Solis was subsequently arrested May 26 by Mexican authorities in the border city of Juarez and deported to the United States.
Solis had been staying with relatives in the Juarez area prior to his arrest, FBI officials said. Special Agent Scott Garriola said Solis was “moved from one house to another” to help him avoid capture.
Deputy Public Defender E. John Myers argued that the $2 million bail was “adequate.”
He said Solis had gone to high school in the Lancaster area, served 6 ½ years in the Marine Corps including time in Iraq and gone to community college in El Paso before joining the Los Angeles Police Department.
Solis allegedly killed Rodriguez, 23, while a probationary officer in the LAPD’s Devonshire Division in the San Fernando Valley. He was fired by the department soon after becoming a fugitive.
Police said Solis and Rodriguez got into a fight in a bar, and the confrontation spilled into the street and ended with gunfire.
Rodriguez’s mother, Lidia, said she was “hurt” and “surprised” when she learned that the suspect in her son’s killing was a police officer.
“Because you teach your kids that they’re the people that protect and serve,” she said.
Solis is scheduled to be arraigned June 30 on one count each of murder and assault with a firearm, along with an allegation that he personally discharged a handgun. He could face a potential life prison term if convicted.
Solis’ father, Victor, 53, was convicted by a federal jury in El Paso last week of lying to the FBI about helping his son escape. He is facing up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
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