Fugitive Mark Edwards and a teenager who fled with him for the second time since September were captured in the 1100 block of East John Street in Springfield.
Photo: Marshall Gorby
Photo: Marshall Gorby

Suspect in missing girl case in court today

Mark Edwards is charged with felony fleeing and eluding, four counts of interference with custody and a felony count of violating a protection order.

The bond first set during a Sunday hearing in the Clark County Jail was seven times higher than the one set in a felony sexual assault case from September involving the same 14-year-old victim, Michaela Bruce.

Judge Eugene Nevius reaffirmed that bond during Edwards' initial appearance in Clark County Municipal Court on Monday. If he posts the bond, Edwards' will be required to wear an electronic GPS monitoring device.

Edwards' wife came to the arraignment, as did Tammy Bruce, the mother of the alleged teen victim. However, neither spoke to reporters after the hearing.

Michaela Bruce is also facing charges for complicity to interference with custody, since authorities believe she fled willingly with Edwards, and inducing panic. She is being held in the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center.

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, who is scheduled to go to trial Tuesday on six counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and interference with custody.

Clark County Assistant Prosecutor Brian Driscoll filed a motion to have the $50,000 bond in the September sexual assault case revoked given that Edwards fled with Bruce, eluding deputies in a high speed pursuit the day Bruce was reported missing.

Judge Douglas Rastatter had not scheduled a hearing for the request as of Monday morning. In that case, Edwards faces six counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and interference with custody for having an alleged sexual relationship with Bruce last year.

Bruce's mother filed a protection order for her daughter and family following Edwards' arrest in that case. Edwards is still set to go to trial on that case Tuesday, though his attorney, Matthew Jewson, said he does plan to ask the judge for a continuance.

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