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Judge Increases Gregory Elarms' Bail to $500,000

The man previously accused of fatally shooting a man outside Hillsdale Shopping Center before the murder charge was dismissed remains in custody on half a million dollars bail.

A San Mateo County judge has increased bail for the man believed to have fatally shot activist David Lewis outside Hillsdale Shopping Center in 2010, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Judge John Grandsaert on Monday granted the people's written motion to increase bail from $150,000 to $500,000 for Gregory Leon Elarms, 60, who remains in custody after he was allegedly found to be in possession of "shanks" in the San Mateo County jail on three separate occasions.

Elarms had previously faced special circumstance murder charges in connection with the June 9, 2010, killing, in which Elarms allegedly shot Lewis once in the stomach with a .44-caliber handgun, fatally wounding him.

Jury selection for the murder trial was under way when, on Nov. 6, Judge Stephen Hall presented a written ruling dismissing the murder charge and charge that Lewis was a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to the court, San Mateo police had obtained Lewis' confession to the murder in violation of his Miranda rights, and thus the confession was inadmissible at trial.

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, however, said the district attorney's office believes the decision was "erroneous" and that Lewis' confession was properly obtained by the San Mateo Police Department, and prosecutors will appeal the judge's decision.

Elarms, who pleaded not guilty to the murder last month, had previously been found incompetent to stand trial and was even sent to a state hospital following his arrest.

Elarms is in custody on a separate case charging him with three counts of felony possession of weapons in the county jail in connection with the three "shanks."

Prosecutors say the "shanks" were a sharpened toothbrush, a sharpened spork and two sharpened pencils tied together to work as a stabbing instrument.

Also on Monday, Elarms' case was confirmed for the preliminary hearing on a time not waived basis on Nov. 26, at 2 p.m. with a one hour estimate, and for superior court review conference on Nov. 21, at 1:30 p.m.

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