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Judge reduces bond for Singleton

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By Kacie Goode

Nearly two months after his arraignment in court, Danny Singleton’s bond was reduced by half.

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Judge Charles C. Simms III agreed to lower Singleton’s bond to $100,000 during a hearing Thursday afternoon in Nelson County. The amount had previously been $200,000.

Singleton was arrested in December and charged with 38 counts of perjury in the first degree.

According to his indictment filed Dec. 16, Singleton made a “material false statement, which he did not believe” while under oath during a testimony for a Nelson County grand jury Sept. 16.

The statements were related to the investigation of Crystal Rogers’ July 3 disappearance.

“I do understand that his bond is at $200,000 cash right now, and that he is a moderate risk,” said Singleton’s attorney John Cook, but he argued as to why the bond should be lowered.

Cook guessed that Singleton’s moderate risk classification was because of a past criminal history, “albeit no felony convictions,” he said. “Nothing anywhere remotely as serious as a felony, much less 38 counts of a felony.”

He also said that if allowed bond, Singleton would live with his adult children in the community.

“He has significant ties with the community,” Cook said. “I do think a $200,000 bond, in light of the Class D felony, is fairly significant,” and one he would never make.

Attorney Chip McKay said the commonwealth opposed any reduction in bond because of the severity of the allegations against Singleton.

“We’re only about a month away from a pretrial conference,” McKay said. “Judge, the allegations in this case, we believe, are very serious.”

“As the court is aware, this case rises out of the investigation into the disappearance of Crystal Rogers in July of last year,” he said.

McKay pointed out that Singleton was an employee of Rogers’ live-in boyfriend, Brooks Houck. Houck is a suspect in Rogers’ disappearance.

“All of the counts of perjury are related to (Singleton’s) answers to the grand jury as to his whereabouts on Friday, July 3, 2015,” McKay said. “We believe he is a flight risk if he is released. We also believe that his safety could be in danger if he is released as well.”

After hearing both sides, Simms noted that Singleton faces a significant number of charges.

“However, the most time that he could receive on this case would be 20 years, and he would be eligible for parole at 20 percent if any conviction (occurs) in this case,” he said.

With that in mind, Simms, believing it would still ensure Singleton’s appearance in court, reduced the bond to $100,000 cash or property.

“If he makes that bond, he is to be monitored by pretrial services,” Simms said.

Simms also said the court was hoping to have an evidentiary hearing that day “to better know what the alleged lies were about in setting the bond. But we haven’t had any proof here today.”

Cook interjected to remind the court that he had only received discovery that day, and that, to his understanding, “Mr. Singleton testified in front of the grand jury, walked out and was asked about his statements,” Cook said. “… And immediately corrected some misunderstandings. … I’m just as curious as the court is about the evidentiary material.”

“He is certainly interested in resolving this matter,” Cook said, adding that they would make arrangements that day to meet with detectives per a request. “I think Mr. Singleton will continue to be cooperative with law enforcement for any needs they perceive or any questions they may have of him.”

As of press time, the exact statements in question regarding Singleton’s charges had not been publicly released.

Rogers’ parents, Tommy and Sherry Ballard, were in the courtroom Thursday afternoon during Singleton’s hearing.

They said they were disappointed that the bond was reduced.

“We kind of felt that was coming,” Sherry Ballard said. “They can only do so much for what he’s in here for.”

Singleton’s trial is expected to begin in April.