After nearly an hour of testimony and legal arguments Monday, District Judge Ed Bouker denied a motion to alter bond conditions for two people arrested in the wake of a hit-and-run accident that killed a rural Ellis County man.
Attorneys for Holliann M. Stramel, 24, and Trevor J. Calvin, 27, had filed motions essentially asking Bouker to lift the no-contact order and let Stramel move back in with Calvin.
While they asked for the change for different reasons, Bouker turned aside both requests based on evidence showing Calvin long has had a drinking problem and if Stramel would move in with him, they both could be a danger to themselves and the public.
Bouker also had said he was unable to take into account comments from the victims in the case because the law only allows him to consider flight risk of a defendant and the safety of the public in issues surrounding bond.
Survivors of John J. Befort, 67, who was killed July 18 when he was struck as he walked on 200th Avenue, took the opportunity, however, to object to the change in bond conditions because it benefited the defendants without considering the victims in the case.
Monday’s hearing in Ellis County District Court ultimately lasted nearly 90 minutes and also prompted Bouker to change the provisions of Calvin’s bond, ordering him to avoid illegal drugs and alcohol and obtain evaluation for any drug or alcohol dependence — and follow any recommendations. He also will be subject to random breath tests.
Stramel faces the most serious charges in connection with Befort’s death, who was struck by a northbound vehicle as he stood alongside the edge of the road not far from where he lived.
Stramel was charged July 31 with two felonies, failure to stop and render aid at a fatality accident and concealing/altering evidence of a crime-interference with law enforcement, along with a misdemeanor charge of vehicular homicide.
Calvin also is charged with two felonies, concealing/altering evidence of a crime-interference with law enforcement and impeding/obstructing officer’s duty-interference with law enforcement.
Kurt Kerns, the Wichita attorney representing Stramel, filed the motion seeking a change in conditions of the bond, calling Calvin her fiance. He also said in Monday’s hearing the two had been living together for the past two years.
Initially, when the arrests were made, they were not identified as being engaged, and they were identified in court documents as living in separate residences, she on Mission Mount in Hays and he on 220th Avenue in rural Ellis County.
In his motion, Kerns said Stramel prior to charges being filed was earning approximately $6,000 a month.
“Currently, she is working as a dishwasher making $8 an hour,” he said. “Ms. Stramel has attempted to find employment comparable to that which she had before this case began and has found that the media attention surrounding this case has made it impossible.”
Her current financial obligations, Kerns said in the motion, amount to roughly $2,500 a month, not including food, fuel and the $10 daily charge for a portable breathalyzer.