UPDATE: Bond Set for Dean Hart Jr. at $137,000

UPDATE: Bond Set for Dean Hart Jr. at $137,000

A judge has set a $137,000 bond for Dean Hart Jr.
 (Monroe Police Department)
(Monroe Police Department)
MONROE -- In the hearing Wednesday afternoon, a judge has decided that Dean Hart, Jr.  will be allowed to live at home or with family -- with electronic monitoring.

His bond has been set to $137,000, which his attorney says Hart is trying to pay as of Wednesday.

"We will be monitored electronically as he has been for the past three months," said Hart's attorney, Glen Petersen.

Petersen says Hart will continue court-ordered drug and alcohol treatment. He relieved a certificate after graduating from a program in Baton Rouge.

"The bond is fair, and we can talk about the amounts all day long, but the fact of the matter is, what we consider more important is that he's still engaged in treatment and we're excited about that," said Petersen.

Judge Benjamin Jones also ordered that Hart be kept away from guns. He won't be able to travel -- his passport will be surrendered.

During the hearing, prosecutor Neal Johnson brought a Monroe police detective to testify. The questioning revolved around the events leading up to and after the 7-hour stand off on December 30, 2013. 

"One of the factors that a judge has to consider is the weight of the evidence," said Petersen.

Johnson handed him photographs, which he confirmed were photos of the victim's injuries -- including hair pulled from her scalp, and bruises on on her arms and head. Police said Hart's wife escaped from the home when he took a sleeping pill. She drove herself to the hospital, where she filed a report with police.

The detective says an arrest was obtained, which began the long stand-off with police. The detective said Hart appeared outside the home several times, as shown by surveillance footage inside Hart's home.

The detective also recounted the footage showing Hart point weapons at officers. He said Hart pointed a revolver with a laser mount at several officers, who noticed the laser on their body.

After recounting the night of the stand off, the detective confirmed new details during cross examination.

Attorney Petersen asked about Hart's ex-wife, Leah Hart, who told police that during a 2012-2013 argument, he "put a gun to her head and asked her to beg for her life," according to a statement made by the detective in court.

The detective said he did not know if Leah Hart had filed a police report during that incident.

This same detective also reviewed footage alongside Petersen, but the two came to many disagreements in court Wednesday over the actions that transpired in the surveillance video.

Petersen asked about the in-home surveillance system that showed Hart and his wife during the three day period he allegedly held her hostage. The detective said he did not see physical violence yet in what can be seen in the video, but stated he is not done looking over all of the footage.

During the three-day period hart allegedly held his wife hostage, the detective also says the two were seen on surveillance shopping and dining together at various in Monroe and West Monroe. He even said she used a phone at Target to call her ex-husband.

When asked by Petersen if investigators looked at footage or questioned workers at all of the locations the pair visited during those three days, the detective replied, "the case is still ongoing," but he plans to get to it.

Johnson asked the detective about the car the two traveled in showing damage. The detective said Hart's wife had tried to escape by jumping out of the car, but that's when he grabbed her by the hair and threatened to kill her. Petersen claimed that perhaps Hart grabbed her hair to keep her from getting hurt from jumping out.

Police found several weapons, including nine shown in a photo presented during the hearing. The detective said it did not appear that an AR-15 assault rifle, the one he claims Hart pointed at police, was loaded.

"There's a lot of facts that are unknown, even admittedly by the investigator who has this case," said Petersen.

The detective also admitted during Petersen's questions that not all phone records were checked, and that several phones were confiscated from the home, but it is unknown which phone belongs to whom.

Some of Hart's eight counts are misdemeanors, while others -- including the rape and kidnapping charges --  hold the possibility of 40 years in prison.

"Serious charges, and I would never attempt to state otherwise, and as such, a man's life is at stake here," said Petersen.

In the end, the judge is granting Hart permission to live at home or with relatives, with electronic monitoring and police check ups at the residence. Judge Jones is also ensuring no contact between hart and the victim, his soon-to-be ex-wife, unless it is necessary for divorce proceedings.

"There's a lot more to come, and as [the detective] put it, it's still under investigation.' Well, it's still under investigation by us, too," said Petersen.

Hart will return to court July 31, where his attorney says a trial date could be set.


Monroe -- A judge has set a $137,000 bond for Dean Hart Jr.

Hart is allowed to live at home or with family but with an electronic monitoring device.

As per the judge's order, all guns must be removed from where he lives and passport surrendered. 

Hart is charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting his wife and was arrested after a standoff with Monroe Police back in December 2013.

Last week a Ouachita Parish Grand Jury indicted Hart on eight charges. 

The first two counts constitute Aggravated Assault Upon a Police Officer with a Firearm, stating Hart, Jr. allegedly assaulted several Monroe Police officers with a dangerous weapon on that December 30th standoff.

The third count is Unlawful Use of a Laser on a Police Officer in which, during the standoff, Hart, Jr. allegedly projected a laser on or at several police officers during the standoff.

The fourth count is Resisting an Officer with Force or Violence in which Hart, Jr. allegedly used threatening force or violence against police officers before he could be restrained and arrested.

The fifth count is Second Degree Kidnapping in which Hart, Jr. allegedly unlawfully seized and imprisoned his wife, Barbara Hart, from December 26th-30th.

The sixth count is Forcible Rape in which Hart, Jr. allegedly committed forcible rape upon his wife, Barbara Hart, between the dates of December 26th-30th, the same dates of her alleged kidnapping.

The seventh count is Domestic Abuse Battery in which Hart, Jr. allegedly committed violence against Barbara Hart during the dates of December 26th-30th.

The eighth count is Possession of Cocaine in which Hart, Jr. allegedly possessed and had control of a controlled dangerous substance during the dates of December 26th-30th.
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