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PHOENIX -- A new court ruling said bail-bond companies in Arizona are still on the hook for defendants who skip after a court allows them to remain free even after they're convicted but facing time behind bars.

Two bail-bond companies appealed after they lost bonds posted for defendants who didn't return to court after entering guilty pleas for crimes requiring incarceration.

The companies argued that the courts shouldn't have allowed the defendants to remain free once their pleas were accepted.

However, the ruling by a Court of Appeals panel turned down the appeal, ruling that courts have discretion to release the defendants pending sentencing.

Associated Press,

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