A judge ordered Thursday morning that Ashley Baumann can be released on a $10,000 cash bond. Judge Jay Tlusty had ordered Baumann be held without bond last month after a jury convicted her on two counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle. Baumann was charged as the driver in a June 2012 crash that killed two people.
At the bond hearing Thursday, defense attorney Wright Laufenberg submitted a multitude of letters from supporters who are confident that Baumann will be present at any future court dates, including her sentencing hearing on Aug. 20. Laufenberg said Baumann hasn’t missed any court appearances and made no attempt to flee over the past two years that she has been a suspect and defendant in this case.
“Her entire existence is in this town,” Laufenberg said.
Prosecutor Tara Jenswold argued that a lot has changed in the case since Baumann’s original $500 cash bond was sent 18 months ago. Jenswold pointed out that with the conviction Baumann’s presumption of innocence is gone and she faces significant time in prison.
“If ever there was incentive not to appear in court, it’s now,” he said.
Tlusty noted that the purpose of bond is to ensure the defendant’s appearance at court proceedings and to protect the community. State statute does allow for defendants to be released on bond between conviction and sentencing.
Tlusty ordered a $10,000 cash bond, plus a $40,000 signature bond. A number of stipulations were placed on bond, including that Baumann reside with her mother, observe a curfew, not drink alcohol and not operate a motor vehicle.
Baumann was released from the Lincoln County Jail later on Thursday.