MOUNT VERNON — A judge has reduced bail for a man charged with murdering a Northwest dog-trainer-to-the-stars from $5 million to $2.5 million.
After a hearing Wednesday at which defense lawyers praised Michiel Oakes’ good qualities, such as raising four children, Skagit County Superior Court Judge Mike Rickert lowered the bail.
The Kennewick man is charged with first-degree murder in the death of dog trainer Mark Stover. Stover’s body has not been found.
Oakes is the boyfriend of Stover’s ex-wife.
Stover was last seen Oct. 28 at his home and dog-training business south of Anacortes. Investigators found blood in his house and on his car, which was abandoned at a nearby casino. Stover’s own protection dog, Dingo, was also found wounded at his home.
Stover had taught obedience to the pets of Pearl Jam and Nirvana musicians, Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz and Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki.