AP NEWS

Murder-for-hire Suspect Freed On Unsecured Bail

April 11, 2019

WILKES-BARRE — Less than two months after being charged with hiring a hit man to execute her stepfather, Kendra L. Dias was granted unsecured bail Thursday, allowing her to walk out of the Luzerne County Correctional Facility.

Dias, 24, of 114 Hemlock St., Sugar Notch, is charged with conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder after prosecutors say she paid someone $1,500 to kill Donald Bachman Jr. in a notorious slaying that took place almost four years ago.

In court Thursday, prosecutors agreed to allow Dias to be released on $500,000 unsecured bail in exchange for her waiving her right to a preliminary hearing on the charges. Magisterial District Judge Rick Cronauer reduced her $1 million secured bail to the unsecured amount, allowing her to go free pending trial without putting up any money.

The judge ordered Dias to wear an ankle monitor and to have no contact with any witnesses or any of Bachman’s family.

The parties did not disclose the reason for the bail agreement in court. After the hearing, Assistant District Attorney Jarrett J. Ferentino said state law allows for bail on the charges Dias is facing.

“She’s charged with the solicitation to commit murder, not the actual homicide,” Ferentino said. “So under the law she’s entitled at this stage to bail. But we’re entitled to put conditions on bail that guarantee that she is going to answer for these charges and essentially walk the straight and narrow while she’s bailed.”

He declined to say whether Dias is cooperating with investigators who are still trying to identify the actual gunman who shot Bachman, saying only that the investigation is “moving forward.” He also would not comment on whether the fact that Dias is pregnant played a role in the decision.

“I don’t want to personally comment on her health, but there are extenuating circumstances that allowed us to agree to these terms and conditions at this time,” Ferentino said.

Donald Bachman Jr.’s sister Judi Comisky said she had not been consulted about the bail change prior to arriving in court and that she was disappointed with the outcome.

“I don’t feel that she should be getting out of jail. I feel that she should still be behind bars for the crimes that she has committed,” Comisky said. “Even though she will be under supervision, I just feel that’s bull. It’s not sufficient enough for me.”

Dias declined to comment.

Bachman, 49, was gunned down outside his home at 62 Willow St., Wilkes-Barre, as he returned from work early the morning of May 1, 2015. Dias’ mother, Lori Bachman, reported hearing an argument followed by gunshots. When police arrived they found Bachman on the ground, bleeding from the right side of his head with six spent .22-caliber shell casings in the area.

In court last month, county prosecutors alleged others “close to Ms. Dias” were involved in what they termed a “family situation.” 

No other charges have been filed in the case.