BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WALA) - A suspect in a shocking Baldwin County sex and child abuse investigation, got a reduced bond.
Wendy Holland went to court in Bay Minette Thursday, June 20, trying to get a reduction in her $200,000 bond.
BRITTNEY WOOD CONNECTION
Holland is one of six defendants in an alleged child sex ring involving relatives of Brittney Wood.
Wood has been missing since May of 2012.
Holland is Brittney's aunt.
A grand jury indicted her on three felony charges: sodomy of a child less than 12, sexual abuse of a child less than 12 and sexual torture.
She was also indicted on a misdemeanor charge of child endangerment.
Holland's attorney, Mitzi Johnson-Theodoro, talked about why she wanted the bond reduced for her client.
She said, "The basis for that was the fact there were companion persons who were associated with this case that had received lower bonds than Wendy currently has."
Johnson-Theodoro also said Holland has been in jail for more than six months.
She said, "She's been incarcerated since November 29, 2012. The basis of it was on the companions who had received $10,000 and $15,000 bonds. The highest bond out of those was $25,000, so we are just asking for a fair bond associated with his matter."
But prosecutors said Holland has continued to try to contact an alleged victim by sending letters and making threatening phone calls to the child's caregiver.
They said they were afraid Holland could intimidate the alleged victim if she were released on bond.
When asked her response to that, Johnson-Thoedoro said, "We had requested discovery and had not been provided that at this point in time."
Circuit Court Judge Jody Bishop announced midday Thursday, June 20, that he had lowered Holland's bond to $25,000 based on arguments from her attorney and notice from the state that it's not ready to proceed to trial in August.
But, the court has ordered that Holland is to have no contact with the alleged victim or the child's family, and no contact with children under 18.
Holland must also wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.
The trial for Giuseppe Pino LoPorto continues today in Baldwin County. LoPorto, now 80-years-old, faces several sex abuse charges against a child dating back to the early 90s.
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