The defense agrees to pretrial detention for the murder of the Marion Oaks barbershop

The defense has not challenged the state’s request for pretrial detention of Melvin Arias, the man accused of shooting Milagros Guzman Lopez, a hairstylist in Marion Oaks.

Arias’ attorney, Brenda Smith, told the court May 2 that the defense is not saying Arias committed the crime or is in any way guilty. The country is simply not contesting the state’s request to hold Arias without bail pending trial.

When someone is accused of a violent crime, such as murder, prosecutors will typically file a request for pretrial detention. That leads to a hearing, which must be scheduled within five days after prosecutors announce their intention to appear before a judge.

Circuit Judge Robert Hodges agreed with Assistant State’s Attorney Adam Smith that Arias, 34, of Inverness, should remain incarcerated pending trial.

The judge said Arias is a flight risk, noting he is from the Dominican Republic and not a U.S. citizen. The judge also said Arias is a danger to the community.

January 12 shooting

Arias is charged with second-degree murder in the Jan. 12 shooting death of Milagros Guzman Lopez. Sheriff’s detectives say the 47-year-old woman was shot multiple times outside the Marion Oaks barbershop where she worked.

Witnesses told detectives that Lopez and a woman were arguing over $5,000 when Arias showed up with an assault rifle. The witnesses, who identified Arias as the shooter, said they heard gunshots and saw Lopez lying on the ground.

A cellphone recorded the shooting and the video was recovered by officers. On the video, authorities heard a female voice calling Arias by name and asking him why he did it.

Both the shooter and the woman fled in a car. Arias was later arrested in an apartment in The Bronx, New York, and eventually extradited back to Marion.

The cellphone video was shown during Thursday’s hearing. You hear people arguing in Spanish. Later, a man is seen with a long gun at his side. The man, who spoke Spanish, is also heard arguing.

After a few minutes, there was the sound of several gunshots and a car driving away.

A man is seen crying and screaming and the video ends. The prosecutor said the video is longer, but only a small portion was played for the hearing.

The judge told Arias that if convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

A terrible day: Man arrested after fatal shooting outside Marion Oaks barbershop on January 12

Arias’ next court date will be a pre-trial conference.

Contact Austin L. Miller at [email protected]