SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – Mark Edwards and a 14-year-old Springfield girl were found and arrested Friday night near a gas station.
This is the second time the two tried running away together.
We’re asking authorities how they’ll keep it from happening again.
This time is different because both Edwards and the girl are being charged.
“This girl loves this guy and it’s irrational, it’s illegal, but it’s a reality,” said Clark County Prosecutor Andy Wilson.
A full day of court arraignments and hearings leaves kidnapping suspect Mark Edwards with a bond of $375,000 and the 14-year-old he fled with still in juvenile detention with no bond.
“We ask that she be held pending a psychological assessment. Obviously the most important thing here is her physical security and safety given the events of last week,” said Wilson.
The girl, who just days ago was considered a victim, is now being held accountable for her role.
“She willingly participated in this,” said Sheriff Gene Kelly.
She’s charged in juvenile court with unruly juvenile and inducing panic.
“It’s an untold number of hours that went into this investigation and inducing panic certainly fits what was going on up until they were both in custody,” said Sheriff Kelly.
Clark County Prosecutor Andy Wilson says the 14-year-old is considered a flight risk and a risk to herself, so authorities want to hold her until she gets the help they say she deserves.
Sheriff Gene Kelly said it’s not just up to the law to keep situations like this from happening.
“I’m not going to fault the parents but a14-year-old child needs supervision and this 14-year-old child had a previous incident with an older man so certainly more parental supervision and guidance would be warranted in this case,” said Sheriff Kelly.
The girl will be held until her next hearing on March 11.
Mark Edwards was back in front of judge facing charges of Fleeing and Eluding, interference with custody and violating a protection order.
Judge Eugene Nevius set his bond at $375,000.
This is the second time Edwards has been allowed to bond out of jail.
In the fall, a different judge set Edwards’ bond at $50,000, after he was first found with the 14-year-old.
We went to Judge Nevius’s office to ask why Edwards is allowed to get out of jail again.
He denied an on-camera interview but did agree to answer questions.
He tells us after reviewing the case and consulting with the county attorney he followed the law…which gives people the right to a bond.
“As a matter of fact, the charges are actually at a lower level of charges now than the charges he is already facing from the separate case. So we can only do what the facts and evidence show is right under the law,” said Clark County Prosecutor Andy Wilson.
Wilson reminds people that everyone is innocent until proven guilty and Edwards has not been found guilty of any of the charges against him.
Edwards’s court date for his previous charges was supposed to be tomorrow but has since been put on hold.
“We believe its kind part of a continuing course of criminal conduct and that evidence from the most recent event would be admissible in the trial,” said Wilson.
These county officials say the system takes time and they will work hard to get the appropriate punishment as far as the law will allow.
“As morally repulsive as that may be it’s not a fee pass for us to just go throw a book at him. We literally have to look at the facts, we have to analyze the facts and we have to apply them to the appropriate law.”
If Edwards does bond out this time the judge tells us he must wear a GPS tracking device.
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