Stevenson Ranch murder suspect arraigned, bail reduced by half a million.
Michael Stephens, the prime suspect in the murder of Canyon Country baseball player Josh Pipho, was arraigned on murder and attempted murder charges in San Fernando Court today. He entered a plea of not guilty to the charges.
Stephens is accused of stabbing Pipho and running him over with a car during a Nov. 24 altercation in Stevenson Ranch. He is also suspected of stabbing Chad White in the same brawl.
At the arraignment, Stephens' bail was reduced from $2,050,000 to $1,500,000. According to Stephens' attorney, Richard Hirsch, the bail reduction was granted in consideration of the attempted murder charge and in response to several dozen letters testifying to Stephens' character that were submitted to the court.
Hirsch said that Stephens should be considered a minimal flight risk because he did well in school, has a steady job in construction and many friends and neighbors who were in the courtroom to support him. Stephens remains in custody at Pitchess Detention Center. He is scheduled to return to court Jan. 15 to schedule a pretrial hearing.