Pulaski County Circuit Judge Barry Sims, offered dueling accounts about who was the real victim in a North Little Rock hotel encounter between an escort and her client, agreed Thursday to reduce the 30-year-old Conway woman's bail by two-thirds.
But her boyfriend co-defendant's transient past, which includes criminal convictions in four states, including Arkansas, disqualified the 35-year-old California man from a bail reduction, the judge said.
Bail for Nyima Jasmine Fairley was set at $25,000, down from $75,000, while Anthony Demone Theard Jr.'s bail remained at $100,000.
Deputy prosecutor Jennings Morgan argued the couple's criminal history shows them to be flight risks. Both have convictions for prostitution, but according to police, among Theard's felonies is a 2007 California conviction for involuntary manslaughter.
No details of that case were revealed to the judge, but according to news reports Theard was arrested in the August 2006 death of his 5-month-old daughter in San Francisco. He told police that the baby, Camille Ferguson, had been kidnapped out of his car while he went inside a store to buy cigarettes. He had a clerk at the store call police to report that the girl had been abducted.
After being arrested on a parole violation after the claim, Theard directed police to her body in John McLaren Park, where officers used dogs to find the remains in the 313-acre public space in the southern part of the city.
He then told investigators he was baby-sitting and put the infant, who had a cold, on her stomach to sleep. She was dead when he next checked on her, he said.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported at the time that Theard had a criminal record for pimping and pandering and that he told police the night he reported his daughter missing that he had been in the neighborhood looking to buy crack cocaine. He served two years in prison after pleading guilty in 2007.
In North Little Rock, the couple are each charged with aggravated robbery and theft. They are accused of holding up Devonte Demont Horton at gunpoint Oct. 5 at the SuperStay Inn at 115 W. Pershing Blvd., across from the police department.
Horton told investigators that he had arranged to have an "escort" come to his hotel room. He said the woman started to make him nervous almost as soon as she walked into his room. He said she began looking around the room and started texting on her phone. A few minutes later, a man with a gun walked in and demanded money. Horton reported he gave the two all he had, $1,800.
But Fairley's attorney, Amy Jackson, argued that her client was actually the victim, pointing to a photo from the motel's surveillance system that she said showed Fairley leaving Horton's room just a few minutes after she went inside. Jackson said the picture showed Fairley's dress was turned inside out.
Fairley didn't take the stand at Thursday's bond hearing, but according to police testimony she told detectives that Horton had arranged the motel meeting and that she had taken her clothes off in the room but that his "hinky" behavior made her so nervous she got dressed and left.
Theard's attorney, Tom Devine, also pointed out that surveillance video shows all three of them walking to the hotel room, with Theard standing outside by the door and then running into the room.
Theard told police he went in because he was afraid something had happened to Fairley, according to testimony. Theard also said he was nervous about what was happening because the man Fairley was going to meet took her to a room different from the room number he had told her on the phone, detective George Goree told the judge.
On cross-examination, Goree said he's been unable to talk to Horton since the man called police. Horton's cell number no longer works, and Goree said he's visited Horton's residence but has been unable to find the man at home. He's left notes for the man to call but hasn't heard from him, the detective said.
Identifying the couple after Horton's robbery report took a couple of days, Goree said. Police learned their identities after distributing hotel surveillance photos to the news media, he said. Fairly was recognized by a Conway police officer who knew her "numerous" domestic situations in the city, the detective told the judge.
The couple surrendered to police Oct. 23 and have been jailed since.
Metro on 02/17/2018
Print Headline: Heist bail cut for escort, not boyfriend