Judge eases bond conditions for lawyer charged with assault
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Before a gallery of Missouri Bar members and the family of Scott Reynolds, a Cape Girardeau lawyer charged with allegedly assaulting his fiancee, visiting Circuit Court Judge Robert Wilkins ruled Wednesday to modify Reynolds' conditions of bond.
While Wilkins denied a motion to reduce Reynolds' bond, previously set at $125,000 cash only, he now will allow it to be posted in cash or with the help of a professional bondsman.
Upon his release, Reynolds will be monitored 24 hours a day with a GPS monitoring system. He'll also be placed under house arrest. He will be allowed to maintain his practice and must attend all court appearances, Wilkins said.
Additional conditions of release were ordered, including one stating he must not go near the victim, Jacqueline Carter -- also present at Reynolds' arraignment -- or her 6-year-old daughter.
Reynolds, 47, is charged with felony armed criminal action, first- and second-degree domestic assault, child endangerment and possession of marijuana.
An officer at the Cape Girardeau County Jail said Reynolds bonded out before 3:30 p.m., less than an hour after his hearing ended.
Reynolds is accused of choking and punching his fiancee Feb. 17 and also putting an unloaded revolver to her head and pulling the trigger five times.
Carter testified March 3 at a preliminary hearing she had emptied the gun days before the incident but wasn't sure if he had reloaded it or not. The entire alleged incident took place in front of Carter's daughter.
Carter also testified before Wilkins, saying that if Reynolds bonded out of jail, she would be scared for her life and her child's life.
"I don't feel like I'd be safe in Cape Girardeau, Missouri," Carter said.
Two lawyers and the Cape Girardeau County presiding commissioner also testified at the bond reduction hearing in support of Reynolds.
While the three men couldn't speak about the relationship Reynolds had with his fiancee, they spoke of his commitment to his practice.
"The one thing that impressed me about him is he takes his profession as an attorney extremely serious," said Michael Maguire, a Cape Girardeau lawyer who has known Reynolds for about 15 years.
In addition, Maguire told the judge he thought Reynolds would abide by any restrictions placed on him as conditions of release.
Presiding Commissioner Gerald Jones told Wilkins he has known Reynolds since the age of 5, and although he'd never heard Reynolds speak of his relationship, Jones always said he has the best interest of his clients at heart.
Reynolds' attorney, Stephen Wilson, arguing for the reduction, agreed with Maguire.
"He is not going to run away from this, he wanted to challenge it in court," Wilson said.
In addition to the bond conditions, Wilkins also ruled that Reynolds may assist in his defense.