Appeal from: Superior Court, Orange Unit, Criminal Division. DOCKET NO. 549-12-12 Oecr. Trial Judge: Robert P. Gerety, Jr.
Dooley, Skoglund, Crawford, JJ.
[¶1] Defendant appeals from the trial court's denial of her motion for pretrial home detention. We reverse and remand.
[¶2] Defendant was arraigned on charges of second-degree murder, 13 V.S.A. § 2301, in late December 2012. She received a weight-of-the-evidence hearing in early January 2013, and the trial court determined to hold her without bail pursuant to 13 V.S.A. § 7553. The court declined to exercise its discretion to release her under § 7554. Defendant did not appeal that decision.
[¶3] In January 2014, defendant filed this motion for pretrial home detention, pursuant to 13 V.S.A. § 7554b. That statute states, in pertinent part:
(b) Procedure. The status of a defendant who is detained pretrial for more than seven days in a correctional facility for lack of bail may be reviewed by the court to determine whether the defendant is appropriate for home detention. The request for review may be made by either the Department of Corrections or the defendant. ... In making such a determination, the Court shall consider:
(1) the nature of the offense with which the defendant is charged;
(2) the defendant's prior convictions, history of violence, medical and mental health needs, history of supervision, and risk of flight; and
(3) any risk or undue burden to other persons who reside at the proposed residence or risk to third parties or to public safety that may result from such placement.
13 V.S.A. § 7554b(b).
[¶4] At the court's request, the Department of Corrections (DOC) conducted an evaluation of her proposed residence and found it suitable for the home detention program, provided the household's locked safe of firearms was removed prior to defendant's arrival. The DOC represented to the court, however, that " assessment of the risks associated with home detention is beyond the scope of [the ...