RENO, Nev. — A Kmart pharmacist accused of abandoning his stepson at a Utah store and suspected in his wife's disappearance was ordered held on $2.5 million cash bond Friday on a separate domestic assault charge.
Lyle Montgomery, 42, was ordered to stand trial in Washoe District Court on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment after he allegedly pointed a gun at his then-girlfriend, Jeannette Corpuz, 28, and threatened to kill her in October.
The couple married in December, but Corpuz disappeared in January about the time her 3-year-old son was abandoned at a Shop-Ko in Salt Lake City.
Reno police believe Corpuz is dead and have identified Montgomery as a suspect, although no charges have been filed.
Reno Justice Court Judge Harold Albright said the extraordinary cash bail level was warranted on the assault and imprisonment charges based partly on sealed evidence presented at a closed hearing last month after Montgomery was ordered held in a psychiatric hospital.
Montgomery's lawyer, Scott Freeman, said there's nothing to indicate Corpuz is dead, noting she also failed to show up for a December hearing on the October incident.
He said Montgomery is being held on an excessively high bail that's unfairly based on a crime with which he has not been charged.
"That's no bail at all, your honor," Freeman told the judge after the $2.5 million bail was set. Freeman argued unsuccessfully for a $10,000 bond.
He said Corpuz fabricated the story about the October assault and that Montgomery claims Corpuz broke into his home Oct. 26 to steal things and attacked him with a knife.
Police responded after a 911 hang-up call from the home that night.
Sgt. Mark Morton said when he returned the call Montgomery answered and he heard a woman scream, "He's got a gun."
Later, on the scene, officer Paul Pitsnogle said Corpuz told him that Montgomery "had a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun and she added he had tried to shoot her with it."
Freeman said Corpuz told one police officer that the domestic dispute had been only verbal, not physical, and that she had not been harmed.