Thursday, 7 April 2011

SBS: California: Bail reduced for Jovanee Reynolds

Apr. 05, 2011:

A Fresno judge on Tuesday reduced bail to $200,000 from $2 million for a woman accused of killing her foster child.
The reduction came after Jovannee Reynolds' attorney and her family guaranteed that she is not a threat to public safety and would make every court appearance.
A shackled Reynolds, as well as her family, cried when Judge D. Tyler Tharpe made the announcement in Fresno County Superior Court.
Her attorney, Martin Taleisnik, said Reynolds' family plans to post bail as soon as possible.
A criminal complaint accuses Reynolds, 23, of murdering her foster child, Mikayla Tabin, who died in September at Children's Hospital Central California. Reynolds also is charged with assault causing Mikayla's death and child endangerment involving another foster child in her home.
If convicted, she faces at least 25 years to life in prison. Reynolds has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
During Tuesday's hearing, Taleisnik cited Reynolds' lack of a criminal record and strong family support. The judge said he had received seven letters from the family, asking him to lower her bail.
Prosecutor Jeff Dupras objected, saying the defendant's family and friends "clearly don't have a handle on what she has alleged to have done."
Tharpe said that if Reynolds is released on bail, she can't leave Fresno County and can't be around children unless another adult is present.
Fresno County's Child Protective Services placed Mikayla with Reynolds and her husband at their central Fresno apartment on the 3200 block of West Ashlan Avenue on Aug. 30.
On Sept. 13, the couple took Mikayla to Children's Hospital, saying the infant was having difficulty breathing, police said.
When Mikayla died Sept. 20, the Fresno Police Department's Child Abuse Unit and the Fresno County Coroner's Office began investigating what they determined was a suspicious death.
Reynolds was arrested March 17 after police said the investigation revealed Mikayla died of shaken-baby syndrome, a term used to describe symptoms resulting from violent shaking of an infant or small child's head.
Police did not arrest Reynolds' husband.
Reynolds' next court appearance is May 5.
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