Judge hears requests for bail reduction from 3 defendants in jail on burglary, theft charges

5th District Courthouse, St. George, Utah, date not specified | File photo, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Three defendants being held in jail for alleged vehicle burglary and credit card theft were not allowed any reprieve from their bail requirements during court proceedings in St. George Thursday.

Two of the defendants, Camre Cooper of Lauderhill, Florida, and Lashounte Taylor of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, appeared in 5th District Court for a roll call hearing, a court proceeding where any issues that need to be addressed prior to the preliminary hearing can be taken care of, such as requests for release from jail or bail reductions.

L-R: Camre Cooper of Lauderhill, Fla.; Lashounte Taylor of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and Kevin Miller of St. Petersburg, Fla., booking photos posted in Washington County, Utah, July 19, 2019 | Photos courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Cooper and Taylor each face 12 third-degree felonies, including one count of unlawful use of a credit card, one count of mail theft and 10 counts of acquiring a finance card without consent, along with 10 misdemeanors, including five counts each of vehicle burglary and criminal mischief.

The third co-defendant, Kevin Miller of St. Petersburg, Florida, also appeared in court on one count of unlawful use of a credit card, one count of mail theft and 10 counts of acquiring a finance card without consent, each a third-degree felony, as well as four counts each of vehicle burglary and criminal mischief.

The charges stem from a July 18 incident during which officers responded to a park in the Little Valley area of St. George on a theft call after an individual called 911 to report that their vehicle was broken into and a wallet was stolen.

The caller also reported that their bank card was used at the Walmart store on Pioneer Road. That call was followed by a series of other calls to 911 from other alleged victims reporting that their vehicles were broken into at the same park. Officers responded to Walmart and located the suspects’ vehicle minutes later. The suspects allegedly sped off with officers in pursuit, but a short time later, all three were apprehended and transported to jail.

During Thursday’s hearing, each defendant appeared with defense counsel Ken Combs, who brought the issue of a possible bail reduction before the court.

Combs requested that Cooper’s bail of $50,000 be reduced. Combs argued that the bail amount is excessive because the 12 charges Cooper is facing were from crimes committed on a single day.

The attorney said the defendant has a brother living in Las Vegas who she could stay with until the case is resolved and requested that Cooper’s bail be reduced to $5,000, which would be standard for a third-degree felony offense.

The state objected on the grounds that Cooper poses a flight risk, and prosecutor Jerry Jaeger said the state believes she will return to Florida if released.

District Court Judge John J. Walton replied by saying Cooper is facing “some very serious charges,” adding that multiple victims suffered significant loss because of the defendant’s alleged actions.

“A bail reduction is denied,” Walton said.

Combs also requested a bail reduction in Taylor’s case, arguing that his client “doesn’t have a bad record” and reiterating that all dozen felony charges were from the same criminal episode.

Prosecutor Jerry Jaeger said the state objected to the reduction with so many serious charges involved, saying that Taylor poses a significant flight risk if released and that the defendant took financial information from the burglary victims.

Combs countered, saying the defendant “is innocent until proven guilty” and yet his client is still locked up.

Judge Walton denied the bail reduction and said it would remain at $50,000 cash or bond.

A similar argument and decision met defendant Miller after Combs requested that his bail be reduced.

Instead, all three defendants were scheduled to appear in court Aug. 15 for a second roll call and possible resolution.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!