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Attorney seeking bond reduction for man charged of kidnapping ex-wife

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A man accused of kidnapping his ex-wife — hours before she was found dead — wants a judge to reduce his bail.

Attorney Sergio J. Sanchez of Edinburg filed the request for a bail reduction on Monday.

His client, 40-year-old Richard Ford of McAllen, is charged with aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony.

Ford is accused of kidnapping his ex-wife, 37-year-old Melissa Banda of McAllen, on Thursday. She was found dead Friday night in rural Hidalgo County.

A judge set bail at $2.5 million on the aggravated kidnapping charge, according to Hidalgo County jail records.

In his application for a writ of habeas corpus, Sanchez argues the bail is excessive.

"Richard Ford respectfully requests this Court to conduct an evidentiary hearing and, after receiving evidence, to release Richard Ford from unlawful incarceration based on the absence of probable cause," according to the writ.

Ford remains at the Hidalgo County jail.

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