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Wednesday November 15, 2000

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UA employee accused of murder may resume job

By Ryan Gabrielson

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Pending approval of bond, Facilities Management employee could be released this week

A University of Arizona employee accused of murdering his wife will most likely return to work at the university if he is released on bond this week.

Last week, Pima County Superior Court Judge Leslie Miller lowered Facilities Management Office Specialist Ralph David McCormick's bond from $1 million to $250,000.

McCormick has $250,000 in property to post bond, and Michael Piccarreta, McCormick's defense attorney, said that they hope the judge approves it and that he is released this week.

McCormick's wife was beaten to death with a baseball bat and then burned until unrecognizable.

"It's uncertain what the future holds (for McCormick)," Piccarreta said yesterday.

If released, McCormick has the option of returning to the UA.

"It'd be un-American (to keep McCormick from returning to work)," Piccarreta said.

Facilities Management Director Al Tarcola declined comment yesterday.

Sharon Kha, UA spokeswoman, reiterated that "he's still employed" and will be able to return to work at the university.

They only reason that McCormick would not be allowed to resume his position at the UA is if he is found to be a "danger to (himself) and others."

Piccarreta said that McCormick's record is clear prior to his arrest, and that the bond is just to make sure he doesn't leave once released. He added that people should not be angry that McCormick may be released and resume his job.

"If people are upset, they should be upset with the constitution," Piccarreta said.