Despite objections from prosecutors, a former Kansas University student accused of kidnapping and brutally attacking his ex-girlfriend will no longer be required to wear a GPS monitoring device.
“This is a man with a violent past,” Assistant Attorney General Nola Wright told Judge Robert Fairchild during a hearing Monday afternoon in Douglas County District Court. “There needs to be additional tracking on him.”
Matthew Jaeger, 23, has been wearing the device since he was released from the Douglas County Jail in October 2007 after posting $850,000 bond.
He had been arrested weeks earlier, accused of breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment in the 1200 block of George Court, violently attacking and then kidnapping her. The victim testified at an earlier court hearing that she suffered massive injuries to her pelvic region during the attack. Jaeger has been ordered not to go within a 100-mile radius of the victim.
Monday, Jaeger did not show up for his court appearance, which baffled prosecutors.
“It distresses me that he is not here,” Wright told the judge. “In any other case I would ask for bond to be revoked.”
But defense attorney Pedro Irigonegaray said he was unaware that his client, who is currently living in suburban Chicago, needed to be present for the hearing.
Irigonegaray asked the judge to allow Jaeger to remove the GPS tracking device, which can cost up to $4,600 a month, and instead allow him to check in twice a week with a probation officer in the Chicago area.
Defense attorneys argued the ankle bracelet, which Jaeger is required to wear 24 hours a day, is highly visible to clients at his new sales job with a large condominium complex.
The judge granted the request. Jaeger will also be subjected to weekly alcohol and drug tests.
Defense attorneys also asked for another trial delay in the case, citing more than a thousand pages of police reports and at least 90 witnesses to track down in the case.
The prosecution objected to dragging the case out any longer. The trial, originally scheduled for October 2008, had already been delayed when Irigonegaray took over the case from defense attorney Carl Cornwell in July.
“This case should no longer linger on the docket month after month,” Wright said. “Let’s get it going.”
The judge agreed and scheduled a jury trial for July 27, the first available date for a three-week trial.
Irigonegaray also told the judge that because of the extensive media coverage of this case, he is in the process of creating a questionnaire for potential jurors.