CLEARWATER — An Army major accused of killing his wife's ex-husband was released on $1.5 million bail Thursday night, a rare case of a first-degree murder defendant being freed before trial.
Roman Izzo, 36, will be required to return to court for an Oct. 13 pretrial hearing, for other hearings and for his murder trial, which has not yet been scheduled.
Family members of Vincent Lee, the man Izzo is accused of killing, were not pleased.
"This is absurd! It's beyond ridiculous!" Vincent's brother Chris said in an email earlier this week, as Izzo's release on bail looked increasingly likely.
Izzo is married to Vincent Lee's ex-wife, Jodi. She and Izzo wanted to move the two children she shared with Lee out of state, but a judge would not allow it.
Izzo was stationed at Fort Benning, Ga., at the time. Later, in November 2011, Lee was found dead in his Clearwater apartment, having been killed in brutal fashion — shot five times, stabbed 10 times and his throat slit.
At a hearing in March, Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Chris Helinger denied bail for Izzo.
After a later hearing with additional argument from defense attorney Steve Romine, Helinger granted bail at $2.5 million.
The bail amount was reduced to $1.5 million after a hearing this week.