Latisha M. Holguin, 33, arrested Tuesday, July 9 on six drug-related charges including the distribution of 458 grams of methamphetamine was denied a bond modification request to lessen her $500,000 cash bond. District Judge Keith Whitney denied the request and said it's "for the safety of the community."
"She's lived in the community for 33 years, she was employed, and she has most of her family here in Dodge," defense attorney Steve Cott said at Holguin's docket preliminary hearing Thursday afternoon.
"Latisha has her mother and father here, in fact, most of them are in the courtroom today. She has no failures to appear that I'm aware of, she has minimal criminal history...I don't believe she's a flight risk at this time. Obviously $500,000 is not an amount she can afford, I am asking for a greatly reduced bond."
Assistant Ford County Attorney David Belling, who is prosecuting Holguin's case, offered arguments against the bond reduction.
"[Holguin] is being charged with two level one drug felonies and four other felonies in addition to that...each carry a substantial penalty if convicted," Belling said. "[Holguin] is looking at approximately 330 months maximum out of this case and on her criminal history she has two arrests in 2011, one by the Dodge City Police Department and one by the Sherrif's office for failure to appear."
Belling said that although there is no known prosecution or conviction for the two arrests, such a history is highly indicative of whether or not Holguin will appear at her next hearing.
"With substantial penalties involved...that is a great incentive to flee, your honor," he said.
To further develop his stance in the opposition, Belling addressed Judge Whitney with more details.
"[She] allegedly brought drugs from Arizona all the way back to Kansas, this goes to show a very broad area of things she's involved with," he said. "Evidently, she has an ex-boyfriend in Mexico who is involved and at least what we've heard in phone calls or visits she's had in jail, we know she has connections in Mexico.
"Also there is one phone call where the person on the phone said if she got out, she should go straight to Mexico, I don't have this exactly, but she didn't want to talk about it because it could affect her bond."
Belling introduced Holguin's alleged contacts to make it clear that Holguin has 'other places to go other than staying in the area.'
"Your honor just for all those reasons, at least for the moment, we would ask that you not modify the bond."
In counteraction, Cott highlighted Belling's statement on Latisha being concerned about her bond.
"Your honor, obviously from what you've heard [Latisha] seemed concerned about her bond and doesn't want to do with anything that will affect it negatively," Cott said. "We've had people be charged with murder or child rape that have had a lesser amount than $500,000; I believe that is an unreasonable bond amount, So I would ask for that bond to be modified at this time."
Page 2 of 2 - After taking moment to read over the affidavit, Judge Whitney denied the request to modify the bond and ordered it stay the same with all prior conditions.
Unless bond is paid, defendant will remain at the Ford County Jail until her next hearing; date of next hearing to be set at a later date.