The bond set for a 44-year-old Springfield man accused of fleeing with a 14-year-old girl is more than seven times higher than his first bond.
Clark County Prosecutor Andrew Wilson said he sought as high of a bond as possible for Mark Edwards, who is now charged with felony fleeing and eluding, felony violating a protection order and four misdemeanor counts of interference with custody.
A $375,000 bond was set for Edwards during a Sunday hearing in the Clark County Jail. Judge Eugene Nevius reaffirmed that bond during Edwards’ initial appearance in Clark County Municipal Court on Monday morning, where Edwards pleaded not guilty to all charges. If he posts the bond, Edwards’ will be required to wear an electronic GPS monitoring device.
All defendants are entitled to a bond, Wilson said, but his office did everything in its power to request the court set as high of a bond as possible for Edwards in this newest case. Wilson said the bond is “incredibly high” for the new offenses he was facing, mostly misdemeanors.
Edwards’ wife came to the arraignment Monday, as did Tammy Bruce, the mother of the alleged teen victim, Michaela Bruce. However, neither spoke to reporters after the hearing.
Michaela Bruce also faces charges for complicity to interference with custody and inducing panic. Authorities have said they believe she fled willingly with the suspect.
In Clark County Juvenile Court on Monday, Michaela Bruce was appointed an attorney and the prosecutor’s office suggested she undergo a psychological assessment. She will be held in the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center until her pre-trial hearing on March 11.
“There were hundreds of man hours spent on this case,” Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly said Monday. “It’s an untold number of hours that went into this investigation and inducing panic certainly fits what was going on until they were both in custody.”
Michaela Bruce was calm and responsive after she was taken into custody on Friday night, Kelly said, and told authorities how she and Edwards were traveling on foot around the area and sleeping at night under a stairwell of an apartment complex.
Edwards and Michaela Bruce were taken into custody Friday night after a 72-hour manhunt for the pair. Tammy Bruce reported her daughter missing Feb. 26 and told Clark County Sheriff’s Office detectives she believed the girl had fled with Edwards.
He was scheduled to go to trial today on six counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and interference with custody, charges stemming from last September when he was accused of having a sexual relationship with the teen.
Edwards’ attorney, Matthew Jewson was granted a continuance in that case and a new court date has not been set.
Clark County Assistant Prosecutor Brian Driscoll filed a motion to have the $50,000 bond in the September sexual assault case revoked after the suspect fled with the girl, eluding deputies in a high speed pursuit the day she was reported missing.
Judge Douglas Rastatter hadn’t scheduled a hearing for the bond revocation request as of Monday afternoon.
Tammy Bruce filed a protection order for her daughter and family following Edwards’ arrest in the September case.
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