Judge sets Wayne Bent’s bond at $150,000 (VIDEO & PODCAST)

Update:  (July 23): Attorney:  Don’t fringe on religeous freedom (The Raton Range)

The Raton Range delivers excellent coverage of Wayne Bent’s July 18 arraignment.  The newspaper launches into the story with this lead paragraph:

The attorney for the leader of what many people refer to as a cult that maintains its compound northeast of Des Moines told a judge in Raton Friday that Wayne Bent’s practice of lying with naked children is a “religeous healing practice” and has no sexual connotations. –The Raton Range

NEW (July 21): DA: Bent has “50/50” chance of 2008 trial date (includes PODCAST with DA Donald Gallegos)

NEW (July 18 news story) : koat.com *VIDEO* from inside the courtroom:

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(Update: July 18, 4:15pm PST) Earlier this afternoon, some of you e-mailed me to ask if Way ne Bent was in custody.  In my effort to track down an answer to that question, I ultimately spoke with someone who should know the answer:  Sgt. Bobbie Long of the Clayton Police Department.

Long is very familiar with the city/county holding cells where Bent would be held “if” he were in custody.  In fact, this is the same facility that held Bent in early May.

Based on my conversation with Sgt. Long, it does not appear Bent is in custody.  Long had several interesting things to say. And she allowed me to record our phone conservation for the purpose of the podcast you will find in the following mp3:

Sgt. Bobbie Long (mp3)
Sgt. Bobbie Long (mp3)

I imagine it’s possible that new and more precise information about the case has hit the wires & news Web sites since I began working on this podcast earlier this afternoon. Any corrections, clarifications and updates will be provided here after I get a chance to scour the news Web sites.

(Update, July 18, 2:17pm PST) I’ve attempted to reach Wayne Bent’s attorney, Sarah Montoya, for comment on this story.  Montoya’s colleague, DJ Martinez, explained that Montoya has left the office due to an urgent family matter.

(Update, July 18, 1:51pm PST) Court Document:  Arraignment Order and Conditions of Release

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(Update, July 18,  1:38pm PST) Listen to Union County Court’s Deputy Clerk Karen Vieites read Wayne Bent’s conditions of release conditions of release.

Still more to come…

(Update, July 18, 1:27pm PST) Bent’s bond: $150,000 “unsecured”.  I also have the conditions of release…will publish here shortly.  Plus more.

Please stay tuned.

(Update, July 18, 1:11pm PST) Still don’t have the “nuts and bolts” concerning what happened at this morning’s arraignment.  State’s lead investigator on the Bent case, Dave Oliphant, has just told me that any specifics about Wayne Bent’s arraignment must come from District Attorney Donald Gallegos.

Person answering phone at Mr. Gallegos’s office tells me Mr. Gallegos is out of the office and won’t be back until Monday.  I do, however, have a cell number for Mr. Gallegos.  I’ve left a voice mail on Mr. Gallegos’s cell number requesting a return call regarding the Bent arraignment.

Lead investigator Oliphant was able to share with me that Senior Trial Prosecutor Amelio Chavez filled-in this morning for an ailing Assistant District Attorney Thomas Benavitez.

Oliphant also shared that Mr. Bent was represented by public defender Sarah Montoya.

Please stay tuned….
(Update, July 18, 12:21pm PST) Still working to get the details of this morning’s arraignment.  I’ve been in contact with District Courts in Union and Colfax counties.  I’m also waiting to hear back from person with the DA’s office.

Employee at clerk’s office in Raton (Colfax County) explained that the information is not in their local system and must be forwarded by Judge Gerald E. Baca to Union County Courthouse (Clayton).  Apparently, the judge hasn’t done this yet and is presently on the bench hearing other cases. Judge is expected to be on the bench throughout this afternoon.  A very busy Friday for the judge, no doubt.

Deputy Clerk at Union County Courthouse says she has yet to receive word from Raton concerning outcome of today’s arraignment.

Hoping to make contact with DA person soon.  He’s been en route from Raton to Clayton since the conclusion of this morning’s arraignment.

Please stay tuned…

(July 18, 10:22am PST) An employee in the Clerk’s Office at the State District Courthouse in Raton, New Mexico confirms that this morning’s arraignment of church leader Wayne Bent has concluded.

Employee did not have information concerning the outcome of the arraignment.

Please stay tuned…

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