Bail bondsman tried to convince Gorospe to not bail Malzahn out of jail

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A northern Arizona bail bondsman said he tried to get teacher Cathryn Gorospe to not pay the money to get 27-year-old Charlie Malzahn out of jail.

“Cathryn told me she had only known him about a month prior to calling me,” said Tom Watson of Rose’s Bail Bonds.

He said Gorospe called him a few days after Malzahn was arrested for carjacking his sister in August, the alleged offense that landed him in the Coconino County jail in the first place.

[Police report: Man bailed out by missing teacher carjacked his sister]

“I talked her out of doing the bond the first time,” said Watson. “Just basically because she didn’t know the guy very well.”

He added, “Mostly because she said she hadn’t known him very long and that he’d been in trouble in the past and his family didn’t want much to do with him anymore.”

Watson said Malzahn’s bail was set at $20,000 and Gorospe had plans to put the customary 10 percent down through a payment plan.

He was under the impression Gorospe and Malzahn, with a 17-year age difference, possibly had gone out on a few dates.

Watson said he and Gorospe stayed in contact and she called him about two weeks later. He said even after looking up his criminal history on public access, her primary goal was to help him get back on his feet since he didn’t seem to have anyone else.

“We discussed some of the best rehabs to go to, what kind of job should he get. Should she get a car and so forth, but she wanted to get him out and again we decided, the two of us, that she should think about it a little bit longer,” he said. “First impression of her, she was a really nice lady. Just wanted to help.”

After about six weeks of thinking and researching what to do, Watson said Gorospe made up her mind and there was no stopping her.  

“She told me what we were going to do,” said Watson. “She said, 'I sent all your paperwork, you have part of your money in and we have an appointment at 4 o’clock. You’re going to be there because I want you to bail him out Tom because I know you will help me keep track of him. And if you’re not there, I’m going to go to another bail bondsman.'”

“She had made her plan, plotted out how she was going to keep him in line and how she was going to rehab him,” he said.

That plan consisted of, “mostly narcotics anonymous meetings twice a week, staying away from all his friends, old friends, getting a job. His pay was going to come back to her so she could pay for the bond so he ultimately pays for his own bond, get the phone and tracker and set up a curfew for him, she knew what she was going to do to help him.”

Watson agreed to meet her on Friday, October 6 at the Coconino County Jail in Flagstaff. It’s the last time he would see her alive.

Watson had talked to Malzahn over the phone several times and was convinced he would stick to the terms of his bond.

“There was no indication of any kind of threat,” said Watson. “He’s a pretty smooth talker if you’ve ever talked to him.”

Looking back, Watson now describes Malzahn as a con artist.

“He just sounded like he was going to do what he needed to do when on his bond. He said he wanted to get everything behind him, he was tired of being in trouble.”

While waiting for Malzahn to be released, Watson said she confided in him about her feelings for the man she was about to save. A man, Flagstaff police say is suspected of killing her.

“She goes, [sic] 'Tom I thought about everything that you’ve told me and you asked why I’m getting him out.' She says, 'I guess I really do just love him.'”

Watson is a former U.S. Border Patrol agent and private investigator with more than 20 years of bail bond experience.

As for Malzahn, he sits in jail on multiple charges in unrelated cases.

Here's a look at a timeline of his recent run-ins with the law:

TIMELINE

Sunday, Aug. 20 

-Police say Charlie Malzahn carjacked his sister in Tempe and then drove her van to Williams. Police located the van and arrested Malzahn.

PDF: Williams Police Department report

Friday, Oct. 6  

- Glendale kindergarten teacher Cathryn Gorospe drives up north to bail Malzahn out of the Coconino County Jail. Photos from a surveillance camera show her walking into the building. Gorospe's roommate said Gorospe planned to return home with Malzahn that night.

Saturday, Oct. 7

-Police believe Malzahn contacted some acquaintances in Clifton Saturday morning "to try and get some drugs and a gun ...."  That afternoon, Tucson police made contact with Malzahn at the shopping mall in regard to some purchases he made with a woman's credit card.

Sunday, Oct. 8

-Gorospe's roommate reported her missing.

-Malzahn was accused of punching an ASU student in the face in her dorm room.

-Tempe police believed Malzhan then carjacked a woman in the area of Apache Boulevard and Rural Road at about 10 p.m. Police said he threatened her with what was believed to be a crowbar. That vehicle was later recovered.

Monday, Oct. 9

-Phoenix police arrested Malzahn in the early morning hours after spotting him in Gorospe's vehicle at about 1:30 a.m.

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