NAPLES — A Collier County judge denied bond Tuesday to Jeffery Moretz, the Golden Gate Estates man accused of shooting and killing his estranged wife in a North Naples hospital last week.
At a first appearance after Moretz’s arrest on a second-degree murder charge, his attorney, Lee Hollander, asked for a $250,000 bond — a request denied by Collier Circuit Judge Mike Carr.
Collier County Sheriff’s officials said Moretz shot and killed his wife, Christine Moretz, 53, before turning the gun on himself on July 5 at Physicians Regional-Pine Ridge.
Jeffery Moretz, 54, wasn’t at Tuesdays hearing and remains in the Collier County Jail’s medical unit. Moretz was treated at Lee Memorial Hospital before he was arrested at about 10 p.m. Monday, according to a sheriff’s report. The extent of his injuries remains unclear.
Hollander questioned the timing of Moretz’s arrest at Tuesday’s first appearance hearing. A warrant for Moretz’s arrest was issued July 6, but he wasn’t arrested until his hospital release Monday.
“Why they arrested him at this point, I don’t know,” Hollander said. “He should still be in the hospital.”
Doctors cleared Moretz to be released from the hospital before his arrest.
“It’s a decision that is solely made by the caring physician,” Collier County sheriff’s spokeswoman Natalie Felber said.
In arguing for Moretz to receive bond, Hollander told Carr that Moretz’s mother and sister were present at Tuesday’s hearing. Both declined comment after the hearing, as did Hollander.
On his arrest report, a single charge of second-degree “murder — evincing depraved mind not premeditated” is listed. A motive for the shooting hasn’t been disclosed, but Christine Moretz filed for divorce three weeks before the shooting, looking to end the couple’s 36-year marriage.
In 2009, Moretz faced a felony assault charge after deputies said he fired several shots into the air during an argument with his son, Chad. The charge was later dropped, but in an interview with deputies, Chad Moretz said his father had talked about suicide and killing his own family.
Jeffery Moretz told deputies the argument got out of hand and that he fired shots to calm the situation. He also said his son’s mental illness and anger management issues led him to contemplate suicide.
Chad Moretz was arrested by Collier County sheriff’s deputies on Saturday after a warrant had been out for his arrest. He was ordered to appear in court for an ongoing child support case.
A visitation for Christine Moretz was held Monday afternoon at Naples Funeral Home. Her family also is planning a private memorial in Ohio, a funeral home official said.
Jeffery Moretz is scheduled for an Aug. 8 arraignment.