A former Oak Grove police officer accused of evidence tampering in a 1994 murder case had his bond reduced Wednesday in Christian Circuit Court.

Leslie Duncan, 49, Central City, appeared before Christian Circuit Judge John Atkins with his attorney, Dennis Ritchie. Duncan’s bond has been set at $50,000.

At Ritchie’s request, Atkins reduced it to $2,000.

Ritchie said Duncan has a full-time job in the Army National Guard and will likely make the bond. Duncan has been in Christian County Jail the past three months.

Ritchie said he has just started to receive evidence from the prosecution and isn’t sure whether a plea bargain will be possible. Another pretrial conference is scheduled for Oct. 31. Duncan pleaded not guilty to his charge on Sept. 26.

Duncan was arrested July 12 on a warrant signed by Christian District Judge Jim Adams. Duncan was an investigator in the murders of Gloria Ross, 18, and Candida Bell, 22, in September 1994. Both women were shot in the head and stabbed in the back room of the New Life Fitness and Massage Parlor in Oak Grove.

The business was closed in 1995 when its owners pleaded guilty to third-degree promoting prostitution. Tammy Papler, one of the owners, claimed Duncan and another officer, Edward Carter, covered up the homicides.

A detective from Montgomery County, Tenn., previously said Duncan’s investigation of another murder, the 1992 slaying of Manuella Scarlett, compromised that investigation. In the arrest warrant, Duncan is accused of altering evidence in a way that affected its reliability in the investigation.

In other court business:

n James Johnson, 29, Pembroke, had his case continued until Dec. 12. Johnson is charged with 120 counts of first-degree sexual abuse. Over a 10-month period, Johnson allegedly fondled two young girls repeatedly and made one of them touch him in a sexual manner. Both girls were younger than 12.

n Rogelio Juarez, 51, Hopkinsville, has a trial date set for Jan. 7. Juarez is charged with five counts of first-degree sexual abuse (victims less than 12 years old), three counts of first-degree sexual abuse (victims older than 12 years old) and sexual misconduct.

REACH DENNIS O’NEIL at 270-887-3240

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