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Bender free on $35,000 cash bond

| Saturday, July 7, 2001

UNIONTOWN - On Friday, a Dawson man facing charges of intimidating and assaulting the man he attempted to hire as a hit man last month made bond.

However, his freedom could be short lived if the Fayette County Court grants a motion filed by the district attorney's office.

Jon Gregory Bender, 36, was jailed in the county prison on Thursday after failing to post $35,000 straight cash bond after being arraigned on the charges of intimidation of witnesses or victims, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person. These charges stem from an incident involving David Lint, whom Bender attempted to hire as a hit man.

He was released on Friday after Liberty Bail Bonds Inc. of Uniontown posted the $35,000 bond.

At the time he was charged, Bender, of 21 Rodger St., had been out on $50,000 bail stemming from charges filed in May that he allegedly attempted to hire Lint to kill Wanda Pletcher, his estranged girlfriend and mother of his two children.

Bender allegedly offered Lint a car, $5,000 and a gun to kill Pletcher. Police allege that Bender showed Lint where Pletcher resided and what make of vehicle she drove.

Lint wore a wiretap device to an arranged meeting with Bender that led to a charge of solicitation to commit criminal homicide being filed. This charge was bound to court during a preliminary hearing last month.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed in the latest charges, Lint was operating an all-terrain vehicle on River Road in Dawson Borough on June 27 when he noticed Bender exiting onto River Road and driving towards him. Lint said Bender 'swerved around a parked car near the basketball court and tried to hit me,' according to the affidavit. Lint then said he 'had to swerve off of the roadway and into the grass,' the affidavit reads.

First Trial Assistant District Attorney Joseph George Jr. filed on Friday afternoon a petition for bail revocation. George's petition notes that as a condition of bail, defendants must refrain from engaging in any criminal activity.

According to filings, George is asking that the court revoke bail set for Bender on the charge of criminal solicitation and order Bender's immediate incarceration, or revoke the $50,000 bail and issue a higher bail since Bender was charged on June 29 with intimidation of witnesses.

George will present his petition at 9 a.m. Monday during motions court proceedings - the same day the criminal homicide trial of Bender's brother, Steven Wayne Bender, will begin.

Steven Bender will be tried for the alleged shooting death of Marvin Knieriem of Connellsville, who was the boyfriend of Steven Bender's estranged wife, Beverly Pletcher.

Beverly Pletcher is the sister of Jon Bender's estranged girlfriend.

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