Randy Hance will stay behind bars.
U. S. District Court Judge Richard Dorr ruled today that the former McDonald County deputy and Seneca police officer will continue to be held without bond while awaiting an April trial on a federal weapons charge.
Dorr said that evidence he had reviewed offered "clear and convincing evidence that the release of defendant would pose a serious risk that he would obstruct or attempt to obstruct justice, or threaten, injure or intimidate, or attempt to threaten, injure or intimidate a prospective witness."
Government attorneys had presented the judge with letters discovered at his home and a tape of recorded phone messages recovered from the answering machine of his estranged wife Connie Hance, according to the court ruling.
"At the hearing, the government presented evidence that Defendant had been subject to a number of protective orders and was currently subject to a court order to have no contact with his ex-wife Connie Hance. The government also elicited testimony that Defendant was seen on Mrs. Hance's property making obscene gestures and throwing trash onto her property," according to the ruling.
The tapes left on Mrs. Hance's answering machine, according to the ruling, ranged from "benign requests regarding defendant's children to vulgar statements and insults directed toward Mrs. Hance, to threats to Mrs. Hance's boyfriend, to direct threats on Mrs. Hance herself."
On one message, according to the ruling, Hance said he wanted a meeting with Mrs. Hance's boyfriend to "settle this deal once and for all...whoever walks away, walks away, whoever don't, don't." Hance also said that the boyfriend "knows he's gonna get hurt...he's gonna get hurt bad, and I mean bad."
Hance then referred to his wife by a number of derogatory terms, according to the ruling, then told her, "If you try to keep my kids away from me I'll hang you from an (expletive deleted) tree. And they will never find you until the (expletive deleted) buzzards are circling." He gave a deadline of nine days after the beginning of deer season for something to happen.
Hance's hearing featured testimony from Jeff Sutherland, McDonald County deputy sheriff, that Mrs. Hance called 911 nine days after the beginning of deer season. She said Hance was trying to break into her home. Hance was arrested by Officer David Cuckavic, who discovered a loaded .40 caliber Beretta pistol and a loaded pump .12 gauge Pup shotgun in Hance's vehicle. Sutherland also testified that Hance tried to kill himself after his arrest.
Government witnesses continued to paint a portrait of Hance as a dangerous man who is out of control. ATF agent Dan Fridley said he was aware of another incident between Hance and his wife in which Hance "put a gun to Mrs. Hance's head and threatened her." She did not press charges because Hance was running for McDonald County sheriff at that time and she thought the charge would hurt his chances of winning.
For the defense, Missouri Probation and Parole officer David Bunch testified that he had given Hance permission to possess firearms and that Hance had previously told the McDonald County prosecuting attorney and Missouri attorney general's office that Sutherland had tried to plant evidence in his car.
Witnesses Sharon Kimbrough and Jeff Hance testified that the problems Randy Hance was having were due to marital bickering and a vendetta by Sutherland. Licensed professional counselor Paula Sivils said the chances of Hance hurting his wife would be "decreased" with treatment and that writing the angry, obscene letters he had directed toward his wife may help him "diffuse anger." She said she would be willing to help him if he were released.
Other letters and threats allegedly written by Hance were filed later with the court. Information from those letters was featured earlier in The Turner Report.
A tried and true tradition of the media, both print and broadcast, is taking a major story and localizing it.
Reporter Christina Bryant did that in the latest edition of Pittsburg State University's newspaper, The Collegio. Ms. Bryant has an interview with PSU student Mike Carroll, whose cubmaster during his scouting days was a man named Dennis Rader...better known now as the man arrested in connection with the BTK killings.
The story can be found at www.psucollegio.com/news885184.html?mkey=1648597