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Judge considering lower bond for accused stalker

District Judge Benjamin Lewis heard testimony Monday from Houston County Sheriff Andy Hughes and others, including one of the alleged victims.
A Houston County judge is mulling over whether to lower bond for a man charged with almost two dozen counts of stalking women. District Judge Benjamin Lewis said Monday he’ll likely decide later this week whether bond should be reduced for Philip Van McArdle.

Lewis heard testimony Monday from Houston County Sheriff Andy Hughes and others, including one of the alleged victims. They described how McArdle used a prepaid cell phone to repeatedly call the women. No physical threats are believed to have been made though the calls are alleged to have been of a threatening nature.

McArdle, 50, is accused of 23 counts of Stalking, felonies under Alabama law. All but three of the charges are in Houston County. The others are in Geneva and Coffee Counties.

Sheriff’s Office Lt. Bill Rafferty, in a statement late last month, said he believes McArdle targeted at least 20 women though not all victims want to pursue criminal charges.

McArdle is held on bonds totaling more than $4-million.

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