Ronald D. Lee did not say a word when he appeared via teleconference in front of Union County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Powers on Friday afternoon for his indictment hearing.

Lee, 71, La Grande, is currently being held without bail on one count of murder for allegedly killing his soon-to-be ex-wife Loretta Williams in November 2018.

He was arrested late last week after a grand jury granted an indictment.

Union County District Attorney Kelsie McDaniel requested Lee continue to be held without bail due to the concern for the safety of Williams’ family.

McDaniel argued Lee has violated multiple court orders previous to this in another proceeding, which is another reason why he should not be released.

Defense attorney Rick Dall, who has not officially been hired by Lee but was speaking on his behalf, said he cannot be held without bail unless there is substantial proof Lee is guilty.

A release hearing request was made and is usually held within five days of the request, but in this case Powers called for a status check hearing that will take place on March 1 to see where Lee stands on getting official representation.

Lee was ordered to have no contact with specific members of Wiliams’ family.

Lee’s arrest was based on an indictment issued by a Union County Grand Jury after an investigation by the Union County Major Crimes Team. The Major Crimes Team consists of members from the Union County Sheriff’s Office, the La Grande Police Department, the Oregon State Police and the Union County District Attorney’s Office.

See complete story in Monday's Observer

22604701