Friday, February 14, 2014

14 February 2014 Bond Reduction Hearing for Kathy Hess Notes and link to Judge's Decision

14 February 2014 Bond Reduction Hearing for Kathy Hess Notes and link to Judge's Decision

The bond reduction hearing was held at 11 AM February 14th instead of the originally posted time of 10 AM. Judge Jonathon Cleary presided. Negangard and Sharp represented the prosecution and Ewbank and Smart represented Kathy Hess. Hess’s family and some friends were present in the courtroom. Register Publication's editor, Erika Schmidt Russell, covered the hearing also.

Ewbank called three people to testify: Alan Hess, husband, Marcia Smeltzer, daughter, and Kathy Hess.

Interrogation by both sides produced the following information upon which Judge Cleary will base his decision for bond reduction later today.

Hess’s husband is currently not working due to an old unhealed injury that is being evaluated for surgical intervention. He is in a wheelchair and his diabetes has contributed to the healing issues. He was a machinist for General Tool. He is requesting that his wife be released on lower bond to help care for him. Their two children work full time. Brad is in Muncie as a head football coach and Marcia is a CPA locally. Both have small children at home also and Marcia has been bringing in groceries for her father. He noted that his wife worked at Woodland Hills for 28 years and that she worked at home services and the hospital prior to that. They have lived in their home and been married over 30 years. His wife’s sister and brother live in the county and another sister is in Greensburg. She is even keeled and not bad tempered. Negangard noted that his wheelchair confinement occurred after the arrest and he was working before that.

Marcia is 36 years old and graduated from East Central, has a college and masters degree. Her husband has to travel often as a transportation engineer. They have a 3.5 year old. She stated that her mother is not a traveler, and they take annual vacations. She stated that her mother regularly brought home patients for dinner if they had no one to celebrate birthdays with or other holidays. She stated her mother is loud and has a hearing problem herself. She has  a get it done personality. She trusts her mother with her child.

Kathy Hess has no passport, travelled to CA last year – the furthest she and her husband ever went. They usually go to the Smokey Mountains. Her only out of state relative is a brother in Hillsboro.

Alan Hess was recalled for questions and said that 20 people had contacted him to come support Kathy today. They decided to keep it simple for this hearing. He told the court that Kathy would get lost driving and that he drove the entire way to CA last year. He said that several nurses and doctors contacted them.

Negangard asked what kind of bond he could afford. He told the $25,000 cash was ALL they had. If they used that he wouldn’t have anything to live on right now. Negangard asked about $25000 surety bond and Alan Hess said he didn’t know what surety was. They explained it would be 10% or $2500. Hess said he could do that.

Negangard asked Judge Cleary to have the charging info in evidence and Ewbank asked for the Probable Cause Affidavit to be in evidence and both were granted.

Ewbank said Hess wants to be released on her own recognizance or on in home detention with a surety bond. He bases this on her family community and employee support.

Negangard said that she went to work for another nursing home after her termination from Woodland Hills. He doesn’t want her to work in nursing capacity during this case.  Ewbank seemed to dispute the termination and also said that there were no charges when she applied at the next nursing home. Ewbank said they tried to not make this court a spectacle with all her supporters.

Cleary said that he would have a decision by the end of today.
**** Bond was reduced to $100,000 surety ( which means $10,000 cash) for the bond order and other stipulations in the news story see Register website

Christine Brauer Mueller

Lawrenceburg Township




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