Reports indicate an Iowa man arrested in connection of a violent burglary that left a woman dead on Sunday had just been released by a judge pending charges related to an earlier crime.
According to the Des Moines Register, 38-year-old Timothy Evans had been released on his own recognizance on Friday after having been jailed on suspicion of a previous burglary and drug violations.
A cash bond had previously been set at $5,000.
Just two days after his release, police say the homeless man broke in to the Cedar Rapids home of 38-year-old mother Gina Fredericksen.
While inside, the convicted felon allegedly assaulted the woman and set the garage on fire in an apparent attempt to destroy evidence of the crime.
Local authorities received a report of an explosion at the residence on Sunday morning and arrived to find Fredericksen critically injured near the entry of the burning structure.
First Assistant Linn County Attorney Nicholas Maybanks addressed backlash over the suspect’s release, acknowledging that the situation was “obviously very unfortunate” but denying anyone involved in the process acted improperly.
“You can’t predict these things,” he said. “Nobody has a crystal ball.”
Judge Russell Keast signed an order that allowed Evans to walk out of court without posting bond or submitting to terms of supervision while awaiting trial.
“By agreement of the parties, the defendant is released on his own recognizance pending further proceedings,” the order read.
Evans faces criminal counts including first-degree murder in connection with the latest allegations. His bond was set at $2 million.
[Featured image: Timothy Evans/Cedar Rapids Police Department]