Bail reduced for ex-wife charged in police sergeant's death

Last Updated: Thursday, March 19, 2015, 1:13 PM EDT

A Clearwater High School teacher remains in jail after being arrested in the death of her former husband.

But the bail for Cara Ryan was cut in half by a Pinellas County judge.

Ryan, 45, previously had a bail of $500,000 after being arrested in the death of former St. Petersburg police Sgt. John "J.J." Rush, her ex-husband. Circuit Judge Michael Andrews reduced it to $250,000.

Rush was fatally shot at Ryan's Indian Rocks Beach home March 7. He was 45. Ryan is facing second-degree murder charges.

Ryan's attorney Roger Futerman argued that his client is no flight risk, touting her 20 years working in the school system.

Andrews agreed, lowering the bail. If she posts bond, she will have to surrender her passport.

Rush and Ryan divorced in 2006, but they continued with an on-and-off relationship until recently, according to authorities. Rush decided last month he was ready to cut ties, so he moved out of the apartment and later took her name off a bank account they shared.

Ryan has been a teacher for 24 years, and she has worked at Clearwater High since 2009.

Authorities said Ryan was so controlling she demanded to see receipts when Rush spent money. After he took her name off the bank account, Rush looked forward to buying his daughter a dress for a job interview without scrutiny from Ryan.

Rush worked for the St. Petersburg Police Department from 1999 to 2005, when he joined the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office as a forensic investigator. He would have celebrated his 10th anniversary on the job this week.