Neglect case defendants bailed out; hire new attorneys

By John A. Ballentine

A LaFayette man and woman charged in the death of their 22-year-old daughter, Marion J. Reynolds, through alleged malnutrition have successfully bailed themselves out of Stark County’s jail. This occurred shortly after a bond reduction hearing occurred in Marshall County several weeks ago reducing the original bail bond of $100,000 down to $50,000.

Each defendant paid 10% of their bond, or $5,000 apiece to be released from custody on January 3rd.

Barbara J. Simoneaux and Dean P. Simoneaux were both scheduled to appear January 5 before newly presiding Circuit Judge Stephen A. Kouri for each of their bond hearings and returns. In a joint court appearance session, both Simoneauxs appeared before Kouri.

During the hearing, Dean Simoneaux’s public defender, Patrick Murphy, of Marshall County, informed Kouri, “I will withdraw as public defender of my client as he has hired me as his private counsel.”

J. Thomas Sheets, of Princeville and Peoria law offices, spoke next to his representation of Barbara Simoneaux, “My information and belief is that my client is no longer indigent and she is going to hire a private counselor. Based upon that, I would withdraw as her public defender. We have no quarrels, she would prefer hiring an attorney of her own choosing.”

Stark County State’s Attorney James D. Owens explained to the Court that he has made a request for 18-year-old Dakota Reynolds’ medical records from OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, in Peoria. Dakota Reynolds is one of the Simoneaux’s sons. He and two minor children, plus Marion, were removed last summer from the LaFayette home where the alleged neglect and malnutrition incidents occurred, plus living conditions were described as deplorable.

Neither defendants’ attorneys objected to Owens’ request for medical records of Dakota Reynolds during his admission to the hospital from July 7, 2017 until his discharge from Saint Francis. The Simoneauxs are again due in court January 16 for attorney appearances and scheduling conferences.

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