Woman in Amber Alert case avoids higher bail
By Patrick McArdle
STAFF WRITER | March 06,2014
BENNINGTON — The state presented previously unreleased information on Wednesday about a woman who allegedly took her son and fled Vermont, including a previous conviction in France for a similar crime.
But the judge declined to increase her bail or take any other action than to order she surrender her passport.
Judge John Wesley said Deputy State’s Attorney Christina Rainville had made an “extensive effort” to convince the court that the risk that Patricia Kane, 50, of Manchester, was likely to flee Vermont again was high.
Kane is facing felony charges of second-degree unlawful restraint and interference with the custody of someone younger than 18.
Kane was allowed to visit her son, Zachary Lee, 12, under conditions set by the Department for Children and Families. Police said she took Lee from his foster home in Sunderland on Jan. 27 and took him and his sister, Martha Lee, 18, to New Hampshire.
The state triggered an Amber Alert and Kane and her two children were found in Lyme, N.H., hours later after police in New Hampshire had gotten a report from someone who had seen the alert.
Rainville presented evidence Wednesday that had not been made public before, including an allegation that Kane had been convicted before in a French court of abducting her son.
The prosecutor also said Kane was moving from hotel to hotel in the Manchester area and not notifying the court about her current address.
Wesley, however, remained unconvinced that Kane needed more restrictions or a higher bail.
“The court simply does not connect the dots in the same way that the state does with respect to the claims of the extraordinary risk of flight,” he said.
Wesley said he agreed with defense attorney Christopher Montgomery that Kane had demonstrated she would not flee because she has continued to check in with the Manchester Police Department on a daily basis.
Rainville argued that Kane and her children, who are American citizens, had lived in France for years, so it would be easy for them to leave the United States and live quietly in France.
She took testimony from Jamie Zargo, owner of AAA Bail Bonds in Rutland, who said he had revoked the bond he issued for Kane because, among other reasons, she wouldn’t keep him informed of her current address and wouldn’t turn over her passport.
Wesley said he believed the state was trying to convince him that Kane was in a position to take her son and try to flee Vermont with him again. However, he said an attempt by the state to try to prevent Kane from committing another crime through higher bail was “preventative detention,” which is unconstitutional.
Kane was arraigned during her court appearance Wednesday on six new misdemeanor charges, all for violating her conditions of release.
The charges say Kane was ordered to submit to an alcohol test at the request of a law-enforcement officer and refused three times Feb. 6, and that she changed her address at least three times since her arraignment Jan. 31 and failed to notify the court.
According to the Department of Corrections website, Kane was no longer in state custody as of 6 p.m. Wednesday.