Father Puts Up House to Secure Bail for Daughter Charged in Bethel Shooting
Mark Hackett, who is Emily Y. Perkins' father, speaks with attorney Devin McLaughlin about mortgaging a property to meet her $75,000 bail requirement at a hearing in Windsor Superior Court in White River Junction, Vt., on Feb. 20, 2014. (Valley News - Will Parson) Purchase photo reprints »
Emily Y. Perkins talks to attorney Devin McLaughlin at the start of a motion hearing at Windsor Superior Court in White River Junction, Vt., on February 20, 2014. Perkins, who is facing an attempted murder charge for allegedly shooting Emma Jozefiak, filed a motion to review her bail amount, to apply for the Home Detention Program and to allow her parents and stepfather to meet her $75,000 bail requirement. (Valley News - Will Parson) Purchase photo reprints »
White River Junction — The father of the woman charged in the attempted murder of a South Royalton woman has agreed to deed over his property to Windsor Superior Court in order to secure the release of his daughter on bail.
Mark Hackett, the father of Emily Y. Perkins, who has been charged with attempted second-degree murder in the 2011 shooting of Emma Jozefiak, appeared in Windsor Superior Court on Thursday to affirm he was willing to put up his Brookfield, Vt., property appraised at $421,000 to meet Perkins’ bail amount.
Perkins was arrested on Feb. 5, and police allege she intentionally shot Jozefiak in Bethel in 2011. On Nov. 11, 2011, police found Jozefiak, who was 19 at the time, unresponsive with a gunshot wound to the head. Jozefiak survived and was at Perkins’ arraignment earlier this month.
Also found in the home was Scott Hill, 48, who had also been shot and was dead when police found him. Police have not identified a suspect in Hill’s murder.
Perkins’ has been in jail since her Feb. 6 arraignment when her bail was set at $75,000.
The 27-year-old Tunbridge woman was transported Thursday from the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility in South Burlington to the courthouse in White River Junction. Perkins walked into the courtoom in shackles and wearing a prison-issued blue shirt. Her mother and stepfather, Peggy and David Ainsworth, sat in the gallery, along with Hackett.
Earlier this week, Perkins’ attorney, Devin McLaughlin, filed a motion in court proposing three different options that would either reduce Perkins’ bail, grant a home detention or allow her parents to act as “solvent sureties,” meaning one of them could provide money or property sufficient to meet bail.
McLaughlin, Judge Karen Carroll and Deputy Windsor County State’s Attorney David Cahill met in chambers for 10 minutes prior to the hearing to discuss the Vermont law that allows a person who has unencumbered real estate to offer a mortgage as a surety bond to satisfy the bail requirement.
Essentially, Hackett will be offering the court a lien on his property. If Perkins fails to appear at future court dates, the court could foreclose on Hackett’s property.
After the hearing, the Ainsworths and Hackett declined to comment. Hackett has worked in the marketing department of Cabot Creamery Cooperative, according to the co-op’s website.
The advantage of deeding a property directly to the court, McLaughlin said, is that Perkins’ family won’t have to deal with a bail bondsman, in which the family would be required to pay 10 percent of the bail amount, or $7,500, and which they would not get back.
In the motion, McLaughlin argued that Perkins, who is a lifelong Vermonter, stayed in the area despite knowing she was a suspect in Jozefiak’s shooting during the last two years. She also has two young daughters, ages 4 and 5, and her husband, Michael Perkins, died last month from cancer.
“Because Ms. Perkins cannot meet the current bail condition, the girls have lost both parents at a horribly difficult time for them,” McLaughlin wrote in the motion.
He also wrote that Perkins has no criminal convictions, although she has also been charged with attempting to sell Percocet, which she allegedly took from Hill’s residence. She is additionally charged with burglary and petit larceny for allegedly stealing from Tracy’s Midway Station convenience store in Sharon in December 2011.
All the conditions placed upon Perkins at the time of her arraignment remain in place: She could only leave her residence in limited instances such as to attend court and medical appointments and for transporting her children to and from school. Perkins would reside on the Ainsworth’s 435-acre farm in South Royalton, where her children are already residing with their grandparents, according to the motion.
After the hearing, Perkins was transported back to the Chittenden correctional facility. McLaughlin said it could take a few days before the lien is filed with Brookfield’s town clerk’s office and the courthouse.
Because Perkins is charged with an offense that is punishable by life in prison, the state could have argued at her Feb. 6 arraignment for no bail. But Cahill said Thursday that the state had to weigh whether the court would realistically decide to hold her without bail, given that Perkins never fled Vermont during the two years that she knew she was a suspect in Jozefiak’s shooting.
“It doesn’t do much for our credibility in front of the court if we ask for something that we know the court is not going to grant,” Cahill said, adding that, “instead, it was our tactical decision to request an amount of bail that we thought was fair to Ms. Perkins, fair to the state and that judge would actually impose.”
Sarah Brubeck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-727-3223.