The Mohave County Public Defender’s Office has asked for reduced bond in the case of a man accused last month of attempted murder.
Mohave County Sheriff’s deputies requested the public’s assistance Sept. 4 after Gary E. Pappilli, 63, allegedly stabbed a 77-year-old victim multiple times at a Lake Havasu City residence. The victim suffered life-threatening injuries in the attack, and investigators say Pappilli remained at large until deputies received a tip as to Pappilli’s whereabouts that afternoon.
According to court records, Pappilli was found at a Desert Hills location, inside a mobile home. As Mohave County SWAT officers surrounded the residence, Pappilli allegedly threatened that he had explosives that he would detonate. A standoff ensued, during which investigators say Pappilli may have set fire to the structure. Pappilli allegedly exited the home with a large wooden stick and charged toward deputies. According to the sheriff’s office, deputies used electronic stun devices to subdue Pappilli at the scene.
Pappilli’s bond was set at $500,000 in an initial Sept. 7 court appearance. Deputy Mohave County Public Defender Robin Puchek, however, says that amount may be excessive.
Puchek filed a motion to reduce Pappilli’s bond in the case, arguing that additional facts in the case were likely unavailable at the time bond was set. Puchek argued that the victim did not identify the person who may or may not have been responsible for his injuries until after his transfer to Havasu Regional Medical Center. According to Puchek, such may have indicated reluctance on the part of the victim to prosecute his alleged assailant. According to Puchek’s motion, the alleged weapon in the case has yet to be recovered, and Pappilli has made no admission of guilt in the case.
Without a permanent residence or resources to pay Pappilli’s $500,000 bond, Puchek argued that such a bond was excessive to the extent of “punishing” Pappilli absent a criminal conviction.
Deputy Mohave County Attorney Leroy Albright challenged Puchek’s motion with a response filed Monday morning.
According to Albright, Pappilli is a “career criminal” with six felony convictions spanning more than three decades. Pappilli has 12 misdemeanor convictions in three states, and he was most recently released from the Arizona Department of Corrections in July 2017.
Pappilli’s criminal record shows convictions for a 1986 robbery and kidnapping in California, as well as counts of burglary and assault, aggravated assault, disorderly conduct and possession of dangerous drugs for sale in 1998, 2003, 2011 and 2012, respectively.
Albright said the evidence against Pappilli is strong, and Pappilli remains a flight risk as well as a danger to the community.
“He may be in prison for the rest of his life,” Albright said. “He chose to viciously stab an unsuspecting victim and flee. A day later he chose to endanger another victim and the whole neighborhood by setting fire to a residence. The defendant is clearly a danger to others and a flight risk.”
As of Tuesday, Pappilli remained in custody at Mohave County Jail on charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault causing serious physical injury. If convicted on all charges, Albright says he could be sentenced to more than 40 years in prison.
Puchek and Albright are scheduled to appear in Mohave Superior Court Oct. 14 for a hearing in the possible reduction of Pappilli’s bond.