Karla Nix, 57, of St. Marie, was arraigned in Valley County District Court on Jan. 30. Nix is currently incarcerated in the Valley County Detention Center on the charge of exploitation of an older person, a felony. If convicted, the charge carries a penalty of up to ten years and a fine of up to $10,000.
The arraignment hearing, presided over by District Court Judge Yvonne Laird, included the reading of the current charges and a review of possible penalties related to those charges. Nix, who is represented by Casey Moore of the public defender’s office, entered a plea of not guilty to the charges.
In addition, Moore argued for a reduction in the bond amount set for Nix. Moore argued that the current bond of $5,000 was beyond Nix’s means and that she is unable to post bail. Based on the fact that Nix has no prior criminal history, Moore asked that bond be reduced to $1,000, and noted that she would be able to post that amount with the help of a bail bondsman.
In response, prosecuting attorney Dylan Jensen argued that the current bond amount is reflective of the severity of the crime, citing the age of the victim and stressing the seriousness of the offense.
Following arguments from Moore and Jensen, Laird ruled in favor of the district attorney, ruling that the bond will remain at $5,000.
It was also noted that should Nix post bond, standard conditions of release will apply.
Upon Jensen’s request for 30 days to prepare for the case, an omnibus hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, March 7, at 9 a.m.
Also appearing in District Court was Larry Gilbert, also represented by Moore. Gilbert is facing several felony charges stemming from a confrontation on the south side of Glasgow in December, 2016.
The state is pursuing two charges of assault with a weapon, criminal endangerment and criminal mischief, all felonies. In addition, Gilbert is facing three misdemeanor charges which include carrying a concealed weapon, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Following Gilbert’s plea of not guilty, Moore argued for reduction in bail, stating that the current bond of $250,000 is unattainable for his client and his family. He further argued that his client had no prior criminal history, is employable and he has proclaimed his innocence to the charges vehemently since his incarceration.
Per Moore’s request, Judge Laird granted a bail hearing be held in the afternoon for both sides to present information regarding bail reduction.
After witnesses for both the prosecution and the defense testified for nearly one hour, Judge Laird ruled that the bond be reduced to $150,000. Laird explained that her decision was reflective of the severity of the charges against the defendant and would deter him from absconding should he post bail. She also thought the reduced amount would present Gilbert the opportunity to bond out with considerable help from family. An omnibus hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, March 7 at 9:15 a.m. At that time, it is expected that evidence in the matter will be disclosed and a trial date will be set.