BY MAIRE O’NEILL
The Los Alamos Magistrate Court case involving a charge of criminal sexual contact of a minor under 13 against Jacob Schaufler, 36, of Los Alamos, has been bound over to district court for trial. Defense attorney Bill Snowden filed a waiver of Schaufler’s preliminary hearing March 14 during a hearing on revision of conditions of release for Schaufler.
Magistrate Judge Catherine Taylor had ordered Schaufler held in custody Monday, March 13 on a $1 million secure bond and held a hearing the following afternoon when Schaufler remained in custody due to his inability to come up with $100,000 in cash to secure the bond.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Snowden said he believed the Magistrate Court would not have further jurisdiction in the case once a complaint is filed by the state in district court because of his client’s waiver on his preliminary hearing.
“I understand you’re waiving the prelim, Mr. Snowden, but we still need to address the conditions of release based on the fact that he is not able to post this bond,” Judge Taylor said.
Deputy District Attorney Sara Schlack told the Court that she and Snowden had several conversations over the previous 24 hours and had reached an agreement on conditions of release and that if the Court was amenable to hearing it she would put it on the record. Judge Taylor noted that the hearing was not on the record and asked both attorneys to approach the bench for a long sidebar.
“Based on our discussion it appears that the parties are in agreement and the state will agree that the condition of release involving a secure bond will be reduced to $500,000 appearance bond. In addition, the condition that you remain in the state of New Mexico and not leave the state of New Mexico, without prior written permission of this court still stands. You will additionally be under pretrial supervision here in Los Alamos County and you will be equipped with a GPS monitor that will allow you to travel to your residence and to court only,” Judge Taylor told Schaufler following the sidebar.
Snowden acknowledged that where Schaufler would reside following his release was still to be determined.
Judge Taylor said that shouldn’t be an issue then if Schaufler ends up having to find a place outside Los Alamos County and that the only restriction would be that he submit that information to the Court.
“You can submit that information to (Pretrial Services) so that she knows where you’re supposed to be and when and she can adjust the GPS. The parties have agreed that you are required to get a mental health assessment and ….provide proof of your ongoing counseling to Pretrial Services. All other conditions will remain the same,” Judge Taylor said. “We’ll amend the conditions of release to reflect that agreement.”
Case records on the New Mexico Courts website indicate that Judge Taylor may have changed her mind following the Tuesday hearing as the Amended Conditions of Release reflect a $500,000 secured bond requiring 10 percent cash, which is $50,000. The waiver for the preliminary hearing filed by Snowden on Schaufler’s behalf says the state agreed to a $500,000 (appearance) bond, which means Schaufler would only have to pay if he failed to appear in Court for a hearing on this case.
Case records also reflect that a “Second Amended Conditions of Release” was filed Friday in Magistrate Court noting that the $500,000 appearance bond is in place and that a waiver of extradition was needed before Schaufler would be released. That waiver was also filed Friday and Schaufler was reportedly released at that point. The district court case had not been filed as of close of business Friday.