Judge refuses to reduce bond for suspect in trail attacks

Jun. 26, 2014 @ 09:26 AM

A judge refused Wednesday to lower a $75,000 bond for a teen accused of robbing and assaulting people this month on the American Tobacco Trail.
Justin Sturn, 17, of Durham, is charged with simple assault, common law robbery and felony conspiracy in connection with incidents June 5 and 6 on the trail. One victim was punched in the face, and another was assaulted and had his book bag, cellphone and iPod stolen.
“Durham gets a bad rap for a few things, but (the trail) is one of the crown jewels of this community, and so the implications are simply beyond an individual crime,” District Court Judge William Marsh said at Sturn’s initial hearing at the Durham County Detention Center. “It has implications for the whole community.”
In addition to the trail crimes, Sturn faces unrelated break-in charges in Durham. He has served no time in prison, according to the N.C. Department of Correction.
Marsh set Sturn’s next court hearing for July 8.
His court-appointed attorney is John Griffin.
Sturn’s arrest is one of many Durham police have made in recent years following attacks and robberies on different parts of the trail in Durham.
Following a public outcry about trail safety, police beefed up security and assigned officers to patrol the trail undercover and on bicycles.