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Bond set at $2M for Williston homicide defendant, court date set

WILLISTON – A judge here set bond at $2 million Thursday for a man charged with murder in connection with the death of a man whose body was found with a mattress earlier this week.

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Tovias Cerna Carrillo, 48, is accused of fatally shooting Juan L. Palacios, 51, on Jan. 18 or 19 in Williston, according to the court complaint.

Palacios had been reported missing person and was last seen Jan. 18 in a Williston trailer court. Authorities found his body 13 miles east of Williston on N.D. Highway 1804 with a mattress.  Police had asked the public’s help in locating the mattress..

Assistant Williams County State’s Attorney Nathan Madden requested the $2 million bond, citing the severity of the Class AA felony charge and Carrillo’s unknown ties to the area. Carrillo’s criminal history includes a 2005 burglary conviction, Madden said.

“We do have a firearm involved in this, your honor, and the evidence is pretty strong,” Madden said.

Northwest Judicial District Judge David Nelson granted the $2 million bond request and encouraged Carrillo to get an attorney.

Carrillo also is charged with two counts of terrorizing, both Class C felonies, and is accused in court documents of threatening to kill two other men in Williston.

Carrillo began to object to the terrorizing allegations, saying “it doesn’t add up,” before Nelson advised him to discuss that with an attorney.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 21.