Crime

Court commissioner reduces bail for JBLM soldier charged with killing wife

A Pierce County court commissioner on Thursday reduced the bail to $350,000 from $1 million for a Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier charged with killing his wife.

Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered Skylar Nemetz confined to JBLM should he make bail, which he hadn’t done by Thursday evening.

Deputy prosecutor Jared Ausserer argued that bail should be maintained at the $1 million set at Nemetz’s arraignment earlier this month. Defense attorney Michael Stewart asked for $250,000.

Nemetz, 20, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the Oct. 16 death of his wife, Tarrah “Danielle” Nemetz. The 19-year-old woman was shot in the back of the head as she sat at the computer in the couple’s Lakewood apartment.

Prosecutors allege n court records that Nemetz pointed an AR-15 rifle at his wife and pulled the trigger because he was upset that another man had bought her liquor while he was away on a training operation.

The defendant has given multiple accounts of what happened but has called the shooting as an accident, court records show.

More than 30 relatives, friends and co-workers sent letters to Foley asking her to reduce the bail. They described Nemetz as a good soldier and dutiful husband who loved his wife madly.

“The only truth I know about Skylar and Danielle’s marriage is that it was one with a bright future, and Skylar was on his way to the top with his military career,” Sgt. 1st Class Demian Vonzaluskowski wrote to Foley.

Danielle Nemetz was a native of McKinleyville, Calif., and a member of the high school cheerleading team before marrying Skylar Nemetz and moving to Pierce County so he could pursue his military career, The Eureka Times-Standard reported last week.

A candlelight vigil was held for her Sunday at McKinleyville High School.

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