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The Los Alamos Magistrate Court has granted a request to release Rowena MacDonald into the custody of police in St. Louis County, Mo., once her case in district court here is resolved.
MacDonald is being held in jail for allegedly holding a dealer’s drugs while he was allegedly trying to make a drug deal in White Rock.
MacDonald’s attorney Kari Morrissey told Magistrate Judge Pat Casados that she is working to get her Los Alamos cases resolved so she can go back to Missouri as soon as possible. She also requested that MacDonald be placed on monitored release, while her Los Alamos case is completed.
“It’s my belief that the court doesn’t have to hold Miss MacDonald in secure custody pending extradition,” she said. “ ... It seems to me that we’re dealing with someone who isn’t really a flight risk. ... It doesn’t seem really necessary.”
She noted that while waiting to be extradited back to Missouri before, MacDonald was on an ankle bracelet and did not try to flee.
“I ask the court to release her on electronic monitoring pending her resolution of her case here in New Mexico, even if what the court does is release her on an ankle bracelet while her case is resolved,” she said. “Then they take her back into custody while she sits there for 10 days waiting for Missouri to come get her. … It doesn’t seem to be necessary that we leave her in secure custody for the next three to five months while we try to figure out what is in her best interests.”
District Attorney Kent Wahlquist reminded the judge that she is wanted back in Missouri for another meth trafficking case, one where she’s accused of aiding in the trafficking and manufacture of the drug, and that either way, she could be facing up to several years for either case, the one here in Los Alamos or her Missouri case.
“I think the time she does have hanging over her makes her a flight risk … she should be held in custody on this extradition warrant,” Wahlquist said.”
Morrissey countered that what she believes the deal the prosecutors in Missouri are working on is giving her significant time off for good behavior dependant upon the completion of a four-month treatment program.
“She would be absolutely crazy to run,” Morrissey told the court.
Casados eventually granted Morrissey’s request. After MacDonald thanked the judge for her decision, Casados replied. “It is an opportunity, and if it is violated, there are always consequences to your choices,” she said.