MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – A split decision in court Tuesday morning for twin sisters accused of being part of an alleged child sex ring spanning Mobile and Baldwin Counties.
It’s a story we’ve been following for more than two years and involves nearly a dozen people.
Wendy Wood Holland and Mendy Wood Kent asked a judge to reduce their bonds.
They are the aunts of Brittney Wood, a single mother who disappeared nearly two years ago and is feared dead.
Wendy Wood Holland and Mendy Wood Kent have repeatedly tried and failed to get their bonds lowered.
But now that the sisters have been indicted, a new judge, Rick Stout, is presiding over the cases.
KENT’S BOND WAS NOT LOWERED
First, Mendy Wood Kent appeared in court from jail.
She is charged with sodomy and sex abuse and her bond has been set at $60,000.
Kent’s attorney, John Grow, asked her bond be reduced, in part, because he claims she is indigent, has to take care of an elderly mother, and is no risk to leave the area.
Grow said, “She was on her own with no charges for one year pending. She didn’t go anywhere. There’s no reason for her not to be on bond. She’s no risk to the public at large. She has no criminal history.”
But, Assistant District Attorney Nicki Patterson argued Mendy Wood Kent’s bond needed to remain unchanged because her case is a serious one that is still developing.
Patterson said, “Given the nature of this case, we are still getting information from witnesses and informants almost daily.”
Judge Stout kept the bond at a $60,000.
HOLLAND’S BOND WAS REDUCED
Then, Wendy Wood Holland had her hearing.
Judge Stout reduced her bond, which was $20,000 in Mobile County, to $5,000.
Patterson said the judges decision was reasonable, because Holland had already made bond in Baldwin County.
She said, “The bond was reduced, but, with conditions that the state requested, including electronic monitoring, no contact with minor children, and no contact with any of the co-defendants.”
STATUS HEARING SCHEDULED
A status hearing is set for August 7th where we could learn if the prosecution had made offers to each of the defendants if they wish to plead guilty.
Patterson said, “There are witnesses and informants that go, for instance, to one defendant that we don’t want to release, to another defendant, and just, we’ve reached the point of sitting down on the floor and going through sheet of paper by sheet of paper, and making sure that we get it right.”