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Judge dismisses Scott's motion for bond

By Staff
Melissa Cason
Franklin County Circuit Judge Terry Dempsey dismissed the recent petition for writ of habeas corpus and motion to set bond for Christie Michelle Scott.
Defense Attorney Robert Tuten filed a civil suit with the Franklin County circuit clerk's office in November asking for the court to issue a writ of habeas corpus that would require the Franklin County sheriff and district attorney to bring Scott before the court to show just cause for her bond denial.
A writ of habeas corpus is a judicial mandate to a prison official ordering that an inmate be brought to the court so it can be determined whether or not that person is imprisoned lawfully, and whether or not he should be released from custody. A habeas corpus petition is a petition filed with a court by a person who objects to his own or another's detention or imprisonment.
Tuten's documents said that Scott, 32, of Signore Drive in Russellville, has a law-abiding family, deep ties to the community, no prior felony record and made no threats against witnesses or potential witnesses in the case against her.
Tuten said that Scott is willing to accept any conditions placed on her at the time of bond.
Documents used for Tuten's argument for a bond hearing include Daniels v. State (1991) and the Code of Alabama.
"The defendant is entitled to a specific court ruling regarding bond pursuant to Daniels v. State," Tuten said in the document.
Article I, Section 16 of the Alabama Constitution of 1901 states that a capital defendant is entitled to bond if the proof is not evident and the presumption is not strong.
Tuten added that if the possibility of the death penalty in the case is not great, then bond should be set in a capital murder case.
Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing filed that Scott is not entitled to any relief set forth in her petition.
"The death penalty in this case will depend on several factors including aggravating and or mitigating circumstances, the recommendation of the jury and decision of the trial judge," the document states. "To hold, as the defense alleges, that the probability being imposed as a condition of no bond is too speculative and no longer a condition for refusal of bond."
Dempsey denied Scott's motion for a writ of habeas corpus, finding that court has held a bond hearing in this matter where Scott was allowed to present evidence in regard to posting a bond, which was denied after the hearing.
"The court finds this is not the proper purpose for a writ of habeas corpus," Dempsey said in his ruling.
Scott was charged with three alternative counts of capital murder for committing arson by starting a house fire that caused the death of her 6-year-old son, Mason Scott.
Scott has been housed in the Franklin County Detention Center since bond was denied.
The case is expected to go to trial this summer in Franklin County.