Purchase photos

Reeder granted bond

1/8/2014

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

WaKEENEY -- Objections from prosecutor Kimberly King weren't enough to convince District Judge Glenn Braun to turn aside a defense request Tuesday to release former WaKeeney school board president John A. Reeder on his own recognizance.

King argued Reeder was a flight risk, a danger to the public and soon would face two additional charges.

Defense attorney Michael S. "Shaf" Holland, appearing by telephone, successfully argued Reeder wasn't a flight risk and of no danger to the pubic, and should be released on his own recognizance -- but only if the Hays-based community corrections is willing to supervise him.

It didn't take long for Braun to accept Holland's recommendation.

Reeder, 52, was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with three felonies, possession of marijuana with a prior conviction and two counts of distribution of marijuana within 1,000 feet of school property. He also was charged with a single misdemeanor count of criminal use of a weapon.

At Tuesday's hearing in Trego County District Court, King, a special assistant attorney general from Independence, said she would be filing two additional charges, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of methamphetamine.

King didn't say much about the pending charges, although it's likely the methamphetamine charge will be a felony while the paraphernalia might be a misdemeanor.

Although bond on the original four charges had been set at $15,000, Reeder couldn't post bond because he was being held without bail on the pending charges, both of which are less serious crimes than what he originally was facing.

During the short hearing, King called Holland's request for reduced bond "absurd."

Instead, she suggested Reeder's bond be set at $150,000, an amount identical to two "co-defendants" in the case, both of whom were listed as witnesses in the criminal case against Reeder.

Shortly after Reeder's bond hearing ended, one of those co-defendants was sentenced to 120 days in jail and put on three year's probation as part of a plea agreement.

Sentencing for the second co-defendant was continued until Feb. 4 because her pre-sentence investigation was not complete.

Both James D. Smith, 58, and Barbara S. Farber, 50, both of WaKeeney, reached a plea agreement with King in December. In both instances, King agreed to dismiss four counts and reduce the severity of one of the remaining charges in exchange for their cooperation in the investigation.

While arguing for the higher bond, King revealed two search warrants had been executed in the days leading up to Reeder's arrest.

The first found a small amount of marijuana in an outbuilding at Reeder's farm and in a vehicle. A Jan. 2 search warrant, she said, found additional evidence of marijuana and methamphetamine.

Because the two additional charges still are pending, Holland urged Braun to delay setting Reeder's first appearance hearing, until just prior to his preliminary hearing.

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Charges against Smith and Farber were filed Oct. 30.

Smith was charged with felony counts of unlawful cultivation of between four and 50 marijuana plants, possession of at least 450 grams but less than 30 kilograms of marijuana with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of school property, unlawful possession of drug precursors and drug paraphernalia, possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor counts of no drug tax stamp, possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal use of weapons.

In early December, he reached a plea agreement calling for him to plead guilty to a less severe charge of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of methamphetamine.

He was allowed to file a motion, unopposed by King, asking for probation rather than being sentenced to prison. He sought a jail sentence of 60 days on each charge, to be served consecutively, and three year's probation.

He's scheduled to be released from jail Feb. 7.

Farber was charged with identical charges, except for the weapons count.

She also struck the same plea agreement and will be asking for the same sentence.

Although she was scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday, that hearing was continued until February.

In all three cases, King listed each of the charges as "against the peace and dignity of the state of Kansas."