The 74-year-old woman, who has been in prison since September 2017 after being charged with her husband’s murder, was denied the opportunity to post her bail on a reduced bond.
Carole Ann Hignite of Lexington fatally assaulted 76-year-old Leon Dwayne Hignite, incapacitating him for several days before destroying her evidence when authorities tried to investigate her. was accused of trying to set her house on fire.
Hignite’s case went to trial in her December, after which the jury sentenced her to hang and declared an error of trial. Following the announcement of the trial, U.S.
Attorney Kimberly Baird announced that her office would retrial Carol Hignite.
Because of this, Hignite’s attorneys, Russell Baldani and Tucker Richardson, have asked the judge to reduce her bail while she awaits her second trial. As of February 23, she has been in custody for 1,946 days, or over five years. Her bail was set at $502,500 in cash for her at the time of her arrest. Her attorneys insisted she would not risk her escape or endanger the community, and requested that her bail be reduced to $194,600.
Prosecutors Mary Tobin and Kathryn Webster argued that because Hignite faces murder charges, she did not deserve the lower bail. They said the only reprieve for a conviction was the “strange” circumstances surrounding jury deliberations.
On Thursday afternoon, Judge Diane Minifield denied her request for a bail reduction, citing very serious charges. She said she worries about the community if Hignite is released.
“These are serious crimes,” Minifield said. “These are not shoplifting crimes. These are not criminal charges. These are serious crimes and require serious felony fines to ensure that the person shows up and does not endanger others or themselves.
“Even though this happened within four walls that should be full of love, there is danger in our community.”
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Prosecutor: One juror ‘did not want to attend the final hearing’.
Former District Court Judge Jeffrey Taylor declared a miscarriage of justice in the Ignite case after eight hours of deliberation left the jury “hopelessly stuck”, according to court documents provided by prosecutors. And this was the result of the jury “unwilling to participate.”
“The only reason no verdict was reached was that the jury couldn’t even consider the evidence,” the prosecution documents said. “In her words, she was reluctant to even explain or discuss her position.”
This juror enraged the other jurors so much that they asked him to leave the jury room to stabilize his blood pressure, according to court documents. It was thought that it could fog up.
However, according to court documents, the jury ultimately found two charges. They agreed that Hignite was guilty of knowingly abusing an elderly person. felt that there was not enough evidence to convict
Elisabeth Jelstrom was another juror who refused to convict of the murder of Carol Ann Hignite. At the booth, she said her claims by prosecutors and other jurors that she did not want to participate were “completely false.”
Yellstrom testified for the defense on Thursday following a controversial debate about what happened in the jury room months ago.
She admitted to the court that she was involved in the jury trial.
Yellstrom said that after the trial, she contacted Baldani’s office and explained that, based on the evidence she presented, she believed Hignite should never have been prosecuted. she admitted.
This visibly angered the children of Carol and Leon Hignite, who attended the hearing and opposed her mother receiving a bail reduction. They also demanded that the second trial proceed as soon as possible.
“We started to see light at the end of the tunnel, but another door slammed in our faces,” Jason Hignite said in court Thursday.
Both of Hignite’s children testified against her mother during the trial, claiming that Carol Hignite was blind and partially deaf and that she “cannot defend herself” against her father. claimed to have committed domestic violence against
“[Our mother] will do anything to avoid it coming to her,” said Jason Hignite.
Minifield said they were not there to bring justice to America’s justice system.
“I’m not going to judge the eleven, or (the jury), or the process,” she said. “That’s it. It’s not a trial in the American justice system today. And I think you are.
Carol Hignite’s attorney drops lawsuit
Attorney Baldani has resigned from representing Hignite due to a lack of funds to continue paying the attorney team.
Baldani said she had to retire as an attorney because her clients couldn’t afford the attorney’s fees and more professionals to attend her new trial, she said. Stated.
Minifield said he wanted him to stay on the case, but he understood why he had to withdraw and granted the request.
Hignite is now represented by someone from the Public Advocacy Office. However, Baldani said he is looking into ways to continue to support her trial.