Bail has been set at $300,000 for a former Madison man accused of murdering his wife 30 years ago. 67-year-old Eugene Zapata appeared in Dane County court Thursday on a single murder charge. Assistant District Attorney Robert Kaiser had requested $1 million cash bail be set for the Nevada man. But Defense Attorney Stephen Hurley argued the amount was excessive and says Zapata is not a flight risk. Hurley requested a signature bond for Zapata. Dane County Court Commissioner Todd Meuer agreed to a lower bail amount. If Zapata is able to post bail, he will be allowed to return to his home in Nevada. The judge also ordered him not to have contact with his daughter as a condition of his release.
Zapata is accused of killing his estranged wife, Jean Zapata, in 1976. She disappeared without a trace from her home in Madison and her body has never been found. He was only recently charged with the crime and brought back to Dane County to face the murder charge.