The 5-year-old Wichita boy who has been missing for almost a month loomed large in the courtroom Wednesday.
Judge Kevin O’Connor didn’t mention Lucas Hernandez by name and didn’t specifically refer to the criminal investigation into his disappearance. The judge only alluded to Lucas — as another child in an ongoing investigation.
Still, whether in name or not, Lucas weighed heavily in the judge’s decision not to lower the bond for his stepmother so she can get out of jail.
Emily Glass, 26, has remained in jail since Feb. 21 on a charge of misdemeanor endangerment of her 1-year-old daughter. Police had said they arrested her on suspicion of endangering Lucas and a 1-year-old child, but prosecutors chose to charge her with endangering only the 1-year-old.
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O’Connor ruled Wednesday that Glass, who reported her step-son missing, poses a risk of fleeing because of another, unnamed child in an investigation.
O’Connor said that ongoing investigation of the other child “makes Ms. Glass a flight risk, and that is just a reality” that he can’t ignore.
Extra deputies brought Glass into the courtroom. She was restrained by ankle and wrist chains and dressed in jail-orange shirt and pants. She kept a blank expression. Some of her relatives sat at the back of the courtroom. A Wichita police homicide detective sat behind the prosecutor.
Glass’s attorney argued that her $50,000 bond was too high for the misdemeanor child endangerment charge she faces involving the 1-year-old.
A police affidavit released Tuesday says Glass smoked marijuana before driving her daughter to a restaurant on Feb. 16 — the day before she reported that Lucas had disappeared while her husband was reportedly out of town. The affidavit is part of the legal basis for the charge against her.
The family had recently moved to a rental home on South Edgemoor. On the evening of Feb. 17, Glass called police to say she last saw Lucas in his bedroom that afternoon before she took a nap.
Police and volunteers have scoured Wichita’s parks and have posted the boy’s missing poster across the internet. There has been no sign of Lucas.
In his ruling against a lower bond, O’Connor said he agreed that Glass’s bond was high for a misdemeanor charge. And Glass is presumed innocent, he noted.
But each criminal case has to be considered on its facts and circumstances, he said.
For one thing, the 1-year-old who is the alleged victim of the endangerment charge is particularly vulnerable because of her age, the judge said.
And then he brought up Lucas’ disappearance, without using the boy’s name or specifics of his disappearance.
So Glass’s bond will remain at $50,000, and if she is able to post bond, she will be under electronic monitoring if she gets out of jail, O’Connor said. O’Connor said he will leave up to another judge who is handing a child-in-need-of-care case involving the 1-year-old whether Glass can have contact with that child.
Glass’s attorney, Julia Leth-Perez, argued that the bond should be $5,000 or maybe $10,000, not $50,000.
Glass is from the Wichita area has family here. “She’s not a flight risk,” Leth-Perez argued to the judge.
Glass wants to go home to her husband and work through the child-in-need-of-care case involving her daughter, the defense attorney said. Getting that case resolved is in that child’s best interest, she said.
But Assistant District Attorney Monika Hoyt noted that bond amounts are based on the risk that a defendant will flee and on the risk to public safety.
“The state would submit that both of these factors are high” for Glass, Hoyt told the judge.
Hoyt contended that Glass poses a risk of fleeing because she no longer is the caregiver for the child she is accused of endangering and because her husband works out of state.
Glass poses a risk to public safety because she allegedly drove with a child in her vehicle after smoking marijuana at home, putting the child and the public in danger, Hoyt said. Glass got “the munchies,” prompting her to put her child in the car and head out onto public streets, the prosecutor said.
A police affidavit released Tuesday says Glass smoked “bowls” of marijuana at home, became hungry and drove with her 1-year-old to the Olive Garden restaurant near Central and Rock, the day before Lucas disappeared.
She also possibly left another child at home while out driving under the influence, Hoyt said, without identifying that child.
Leth-Perez, the defense attorney, argued that the prosecutor was bringing up allegations not in the charge that Glass is facing.