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Bond set at $2 million for ND double murder suspect

A Williams County judge set bond at $2 million on Thursday for a man accused of killing two others four months ago in Williston.

Lamar Putney appeared at a district court hearing via a video feed from the Williams County Correctional Center, where he has been held since his Tuesday arrest on double murder charges.

During the brief hearing, Putney asked Northwest District Judge Paul Jacobson to delay setting bond until his lawyer could represent him. Jacobson granted Williams County State's Attorney Marlyce Wilder's requested amount, but told Putney he and his lawyer can ask for another bond hearing after two days.

Putney, 32, is charged with two counts of Felony AA murder in the shooting deaths of Diandre Lott, 24, and Donzell Washington, 23.

After the incident, Putney told police he'd fired at the two in self-defense, but detectives now say that evidence returned from the North Dakota State Crime Lab tells a different story.

According to authorities, forensics and medical examinations show that Lott and Washington were unarmed, and did not fight back when the shooting began.

Although Putney does not have a prior criminal record, and returned from a trip out of the country while investigators were waiting on lab results, Wilder said the severity of the charges against him warranted a high bond.

Friends of the two victims held a balloon release and candle light vigil Wednesday night after hearing the news of Putney's arrest.

"I'm so happy I just can't stop crying," Jarika Studway of Williston said. "This still does not bring them back but it's a start."

Lott and Washington, Ohio natives, had moved to North Dakota for a fresh start and had a wide circle of friends in Williston.

The two arrived at the Renaissance Heights complex the morning of May 17 to discuss a used car sale, and were inside Putney's apartment for a short time before neighbors called 911 to report up to 16 shots fired.

Police say they still do not know what caused the visit to become violent.

Putney is due back in court on Nov. 3 for a preliminary hearing.

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