Judge denies bond to man charged in domestic incident

WOODSTOCK – A judge denied bond on Wednesday to a Strasburg man accused of threatening his wife and firing a gun in his house last month.

Alfred Allen Minor appeared in Shenandoah County Circuit Court with his attorney Michael Araj for an appeal of a decision by a lower court judge that the defendant remain in custody without bond. Minor stands charged in General District Court with one count of possession of a firearm by a person previously convicted of a non-violent felony. The court scheduled a preliminary hearing on the charge for April 12. Minor also is accused of violating a protective order issued on behalf of his wife.

Araj told Judge Dennis L. Hupp that his client receives disability benefits for physical ailments. Minor would stay in the South Charles Street home in which the alleged incidents occurred, Araj said. The defense attorney then provided a letter from Minor’s wife in which she indicates her husband’s incarceration poses a hardship for her and their son. The wife also indicated in the letter she does not feel threatened by Minor.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Kristen Zalenski argued that Minor’s wife should feel threatened by the defendant. Zalenski, citing the criminal complaint filed in the lower court, told the judge that police responded to the couple’s home after Minor fired a gun in the air inside the house and had threatened to harm his wife, who apparently recorded the incident on video. The wife played the video recording for police, Zalenski said.

After police arrested Minor, a magistrate told the defendant not to contact his wife in accordance with a protective order, Zalenski said. The prosecutor told the judge that the magistrate witnessed Minor making statements that he would harm himself and mentioned “death by cop.” The next day Minor called his wife twice from the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail in violation of the protective order.

Araj replied that his client never made comments about harming himself and noted that aside from the statements cited in the criminal complaint he hasn’t seen any evidence from the case. Araj pointed out that the charges are merely allegations at this point.

Hupp noted the seriousness of the charges and denied Araj’s request for bond for his client.