TUPELO – The bond for the Tupelo man charged in connection with the vehicle-pedestrian accident leading to Betty Montgomery’s death earlier this month was reduced from $300,000 to $50,000 in Lee County Circuit Court Thursday.
John Shannon Gillentine was charged with DUI death after a 5:40 a.m. accident on Aug. 2 in which police say the vehicle he was driving struck Montgomery, a retired educator, while she was on a morning walk in her north Tupelo neighborhood.
Circuit Court Judge Jim Pounds said the bond was reduced because state law says a bond must be reduced if it has the same effect as no bond at all and if a combination of stipulations will guarantee public safety and the defendant’s appearance in court.
Pounds said if Gillentine is able to make the bond, he will remain in custody until he can immediately be transferred to an in-patient rehab facility where he must stay for no less than 30 days.
Once released from the facility, Gillentine is not allowed to drive any sort of motorized vehicle and must report to drug court twice a week for a drug test.
Pounds said a failed drug test or any report of Gillentine driving will result in his return to the Lee County Jail until his trial.
The toxicology report taken at the scene of the accident has not been returned from the state crime lab but the state submitted as evidence Gillentine failed a field-sobriety test conducted by a DUI officer at the scene.