A Douglas County judge Friday rejected a motion to lower the $850,000 bond set for a Kansas University senior charged with attacking a woman and dragging her from her apartment.
Carl Cornwell, the defense attorney for Matthew P. Jaeger, 22, wanted the bond reduced to $50,000.
He said Jaeger's parents, who attended the hearing, would pay the entire bond amount to get their son out of jail.
If freed, Jaeger, who is trained in a Brazilian form of jiu-jitsu, would go to a facility in Minnesota, where he could get treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues, while waiting for his case to proceed, Cornwell said. Jaeger could be monitored with GPS equipment, he said.
"We do not think that $850,000 is a reasonable bond," Cornwell told Judge Robert Fairchild.
The bond was set by District Judge Stephen Six, who presided over Jaeger's first court appearance last week. Just as he did then, Assistant District Attorney Dave Melton argued that not only is Jaeger a flight risk but a danger to the community and especially to the victim.
The woman, who once had a relationship with Jaeger, remains in the hospital since the Oct. 9 incident, Melton said.
"The victim in this case was severely, horribly injured," Melton said. "It is anticipated when she is released she will have to have in-home medical care."
Jaeger is charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery, aggravated burglary and making criminal threats. He watched the hearing from the jail on closed-circuit television.
Melton showed Fairchild the weapons Jaeger allegedly had with him the night of the attack, including an ax and martial arts folding knife. The judge also saw photographs of the victim's injuries and the blood on the interior of the car.
Jaeger allegedly broke into the woman's second-floor apartment in the 1200 block of George Court, knocked her unconscious and dragged her by the hair to a waiting car being driven by another man, Melton said. A man who was with the victim that night was threatened and was "in fear for his life," Melton said.
Jaeger has competed in martial arts matches, Melton said.
Melton also noted reports that Jaeger's father, Jerry Jaeger, a Chicago businessman, had told media in that city that his son had found the victim after she had been attacked in her apartment in the 1200 block of George Court. Jerry Jaeger reportedly said his son was trying to take the woman to the hospital.
But the car Jaeger and the victim were in was stopped by police as it headed west on Sixth Street, away from Lawrence Memorial Hospital, 325 Maine, Melton said. Police were called after people in the apartment complex were alarmed by the woman's screams. The car was seen by an officer driving to the apartment complex.
"The nature of their destination remains unclear," Melton said.
Cornwell countered by saying the driver of the car told police he was confused about the streets.
No charges have been filed against the driver. The district attorney's office has said the case is still being reviewed. Melton told Fairchild that additional charges in the case were possible.
In setting the bond last week, Six ordered that Matthew Jaeger's passport be taken away after learning that Jaeger had made international trips. But Melton told Fairchild he was concerned that Jaeger, if freed, could leave the country aboard an executive jet to which the Jaeger family has access. Cornwell said after the hearing the family does not have a jet.
Although Jaeger has been in jail since his arrest the night of the incident, Melton told Fairchild of the victim's family's concern about a phone call to the hospital by someone posing as the victim's brother. The caller wanted directions to the hospital. The victim's brother, however, was at the hospital with his sister at the time of the call, Melton said.
In declining to lower the bond, Fairchild added two more conditions Jaeger would have to meet if he is able to come up with the bond money. Jaeger would have to be monitored by GPS and he could not have contact with the victim or witnesses.
Fairchild made his ruling before a nearly full courtroom. In addition to the presence of family members of the victim and suspect, several police detectives and uniformed officers were present, just as they were during the first court appearance.
Jaeger will return to court Tuesday for the scheduling of a preliminary hearing. An attorney from the Kansas Attorney General's Office will become the lead prosecutor in the case, Melton said. District Attorney Charles Branson, who for several years was a criminal defense attorney, once represented Jaeger in a driving-under-the-influence case. A spokeswoman in his office said Branson wanted to remove any signs of a conflict of interest.