Judge Hikes UC Murder Suspect’s Bail to $2.5 Million

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Wednesday March 25, 2009 - 06:30:00 PM

An Alameda County Superior Court judge raised the bail for Andrew Hoeft-Edenfield, charged with murdering UC Berkeley nuclear engineering student Chris Wootton last May, to $2.5 million at a bail motion hearing at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse, Tuesday, March 24. 

Judge Morris Jacobson had set the original bail amount at $2 million at an earlier hearing on Feb. 1, after acknowledging that Hoeft-Edenfield posed a threat to the community and a flight risk. 

Jacobson had explained that the excessive amount would ensure that the family and friends of Hoeft-Edenfield, who helped to raise it, would see that he showed up at his pretrial hearing later that month. 

Hoeft-Edenfield’s private attorney, Yolanda Huang, had asked the judge to set the bail at $60,000, indicating that a higher amount would make it impossible for his family to raise the amount. 

Although Hoeft-Edenfield’s pretrial hearing was scheduled for Monday, March 23, Alameda County Assistant District Attorney Stacie Pettigrew said the judge had canceled the hearing and asked the attorneys to appear for a bail motion hearing Tuesday. 

Pettigrew said that Huang had asked Jacobson to review the $2 million bail amount, explaining that it was too high, but that the judge had increased it by half a million. 

Hoeft-Edenfield’s next court hearing is scheduled for Monday, March 30.