Jane Laut - Out on Bail - Back in Court, Briefly
At 11:30 PM, just hours after Superior Court Judge Nancy Ayers, lowered the $3 Million bail to $1 Million, Jane Laut met the bail and was released in the early morning hours from the Ventura County Jail, where she had been held, since her arrest on 2-13, charged in the murder of her husband of 29 years, Dave Laut; said Capt. Stephen Wade, of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.
Laut, 52, was charged with one count of first-degree murder, and a special allegation that she used a firearm during the commission of a murder. She entered a plea of not guilty, and she denied the allegation, in the Ventura County Superior Court during her arraignment Wednesday. If found guilty of both charges, she faces 40 years to life in prison.
Dave Laut, 52, was murdered on Aug. 27, in a shooting at his home in Oxnard, he was the athletic director at Hueneme High School and a 1984 Olympic medal winner. DA Bill Haney disclosed this week that Dave had been shot, four times in the head.
In court this morning, Superior Court Judge Nancy Ayers, attorney, Ron Bamieh and Prosecutor Bill Haney met to discuss their concerns about publicity and evidence in the case. Only hours after being released bail, Jane Laut was sitting behind her attorney when Superior Court Judge Nancy Ayers, asked her if she wanted to leave. “Would you rather not be here and go home?” Ayers asked Laut. “Yes, ma’am,” she replied. Judge Ayers told Laut that she could waive her right to be present and was free to leave. Laut and the woman sitting next to her, left the courtroom together.
Ron Bamieh, speaking out against the gag order imposed by Judge Ayers, forbidding the lawyers from speaking about the case to reporters. The temporary gag order issued on Thursday, after the prosecutor accused Bamieh of making "inappropriate comments" to the media for the purpose of prejudicing potential jurors. Bamieh has denied the accusation. Saying; "I have not posted the details about the case on You Tube... yet.'" Moments later the prosecution handed Judge Ayers a CD of Bamieh laying out his vision of the case on YouTube. Motion granted!
Today, Bamieh asked the judge to order the district attorney to provide the defense with more of the prosecution’s discovery. Claiming he needed it in order to prepare for the preliminary hearing, scheduled for March 2. Bamieh cautioned the DA that he won’t agree to a delay on March 2.
Judge Ayers asked whether the district attorney would reconsider. Prosecutor Bill Haney said he was aware of the prosecution’s rights under the law to retain information, for the time being. For emphasis he added; “I don’t want to see my dead victim’s body on TV!”
The judge also expressed her concern about the defendant’s right to a fair trial in Ventura County, Judge Ayers added that she has been reading comments posted on the VCS web site by members of the public and feels some concern that people are already starting to form opinions. Haney responded by saying there has been much publicity about the case as Bamieh has publicly presented his argument that Laut acted in self-defense. Haney said, he also has concerns about future publicity about the case. Judge Ayers said she will make a decision on the matter on Wednesday, a hearing has been set for 1:30 PM next Wednesday.
According to Haney, the defendant repeatedly lied to police about what happened and tried to hide evidence about her role in the killing.
Attorney Bamieh, says she admitted shooting her husband but insisted that she did so only because he had just used the gun to threaten her and their child. This was a case of self-defense, after 29 years in a marriage that he says has had a long history of domestic violence.
This has the makings of a long, drawn out case. The lies started with Laut's call to 911 - reporting a prowler and from all appearances they are not going to end anytime soon.
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Knoxville, Illinois, United States