Bond cut in half in baby kidnapping case

How bonds work:

Bond is designed to guarantee the appearance of a defendant in court at the time set by the judge. There are several types:

– Cash, which means a person has to give the court or jail the total amount set by the judge. The cash will be held by the court until the defendant appears at all hearings and the case is concluded. If the defendant attends all hearings, the bond should be returned.

– Surety bond, which means calling a bondsman that represents an insurance company that has enough assets to satisfy the face value of the bond. The bondsman guarantees to the court they will pay the bond forfeiture if a defendant doesn’t show up in court. Usually, some collateral is needed.

– Property bond, the court records a lien on property put up to secure the bond amount. If the defendant doesn’t show up, the court may foreclose on property.

HED: Bond cut in half in baby kidnapping case

– The women are accused of kidnapping a child from Mantachie.

By LEESHA FAULKNER

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Circuit Judge Thomas Gardner III on Wednesday reduced bonds for the biological mother and an aunt of a baby they allegedly kidnapped.

The bond for Jamie Kiefer and Rikki Swann was reduced from $200,000 to $100,000 each, according to attorney Casey Lott.

“We were hoping for it to be reduced more than that,” Lott said after the hearing.

Kiefer and her sister have pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and armed robbery charges. Authorities say two women and a man took the child July 21 from the Mantachie home of Jennifer and Matt Erickson.

The Ericksons had sought to adopt the infant shortly after Kiefer gave birth to her. They have contended Kiefer gave up her rights by signing a parental surrender.

After an Amber Alert was issued, Kiefer, Swann and the child were found July 22 at an apartment in North Carolina at the Fort Bragg Army base.

Kiefer and Swann have been in the Itawamba County Jail since their return from North Carolina.

Kiefer has yet to see her daughter, Lott said.

“Every time I see her, she cries,” the attorney said. “If she could have seen her before, it would have prevented all this.”

Kiefer and Swann are looking at alternatives to a cash bond, which they cannot afford, Lott said.

Two other people are charged in connection with the child’s removal from the Erickson home, but they weren’t part of Wednesday’s bond hearing.

Richard Triste, father of Kiefer and Swann, turned himself in several days after their arrest. Authorities say they believe Triste was the man who burst into the house with two women. His bond is set at $200,000. He hasn’t posted bond, either.

Amanda Bell, Swann’s friend who lives at the apartment where the infant was found, also has been charged in the case. Bell turned herself in to authorities. Her bond was set at $100,000. Authorities said she is being held in the Lee County-Tupelo Adult Detention Center.

Contact Daily Journal county-court reporter Leesha Faulkner at 678-1590 or leesha.faulkner@djournal.com.

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