Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Bond reduced for Illinois truck driver who killed eight-year-old Joplin girl

During a hearing Wednesday in Jasper County Circuit Court, Judge Joseph Hensley reduced the bond for Lance Lee, 49, DeKalb, Illinois, the truck driver charged with felony leaving the scene of an accident in connection with the September 27 death of Destiny Chambers, 8, a Soaring Heights Elementary third grader.

Though Lee's bond will remain at $10,000, it is no longer cash only.

Hensley explained the thinking that went into his decision and posted it on the court's online records:

Defendant's bond is currently set at $10,000 cash. When considering bail a court must consider the severity of the alleged crime, whether the defendant poses a flight risk if released, and whether the defendant poses a risk to the community if released from jail. 

Defendant is charged with a single class D felony of leaving the scene of an accident. The Court does not believe the defendant is a flight risk. He lives in DeKalb, Illinois, and has family members in that community. He stated he has transportation available to return for future court appearances. 

Defendant does not appear to be a risk to the community if not incarcerated pending trial. He is 49 years old and has no prior criminal record. He has no other pending cases. The factual basis for the charge does not involve aggravating factors such as alcohol or controlled substance usage and there are no allegations that Defendant Lee was under the influence of any substance at the time of this incident. 

Defendant testified he does not intend to resume working has a truck driver. There are no children living in his home in Illinois. Therefore the Court DECLINES to reduce the total bond amount in this case, but modifies the $10,000 bond to the aggregate sum of a $5,000.00 cash or surety bond and a $5,000.00 bond with 10% cash to the court required. 

In the event the Defendant posts the appropriate bonds, there will be special conditions placed upon his release: 

1) Defendant will have no direct or indirect contact or communication in any manner or medium with any of the alleged victim's family in this case; 

2) Defendant will reside in DeKalb, Illinois, and may not return to Jasper County, Missouri except for future court appearances; 

3) Defendant shall not possess or consume alcohol while on bond. Failure to adhere to any of these special conditions will result in an immediate revocation of Defendant's bond. 

The probable cause statement says Lance T. Lee, 49, DeKalb, Illinois, hit Destiny P. Chambers, 8, at 6:55 a.m. and never stopped until he reached Strafford.

At first, Lee told the Highway Patrol he thought he hit a deer on I-44, but he changed his story, admitted being on Newman Road and said he thought he hit a mailbox. Lee said he told his employer that he hit a deer because he could have been charged with hitting a mailbox.

Lance Lee probable cause statement

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for November 7.

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