A Columbia County judge slashed the cash bond on a Portage woman held on charges of reckless endangerment and battery following accusations of false statements and threats to witnesses.
On Nov. 27, Lisa Rowland, 53, was arrested and later charged with four counts of second-degree reckless endangerment with a weapon, misdemeanor battery, two counts of misdemeanor battery using a weapon, one count of criminal damage to property, one count of disorderly conduct with a weapon and one count of misdemeanor bail jumping.
According to the criminal complaint, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office dispatched officers to a home in the town of Lewiston, where they spoke with Rowland’s downstairs neighbors and another woman by phone who had left the scene to go to the hospital.
That afternoon, witnesses told officers, Rowland, who had been drinking since that morning, emptied the purse of a guest who was visiting, and took two bottles of prescription pills and returned to her upstairs room.
When they confronted Rowland about the missing pills, officers were told, Rowland began hitting the woman who owned the allegedly missing pills, scratched her neighbor’s face, damaged a door, flooring and drywall, brandished a serrated kitchen knife threatening to kill people, and punched another neighbor in the face.
The residents and another neighbor subdued Rowland until deputies arrived and Rowland was taken into custody. She appeared in Columbia County Circuit Court two days later in a hearing at which Judge W. Andrew Voigt ordered Rowland to be held on $5,000 cash bond.
In court Wednesday, Rowland appeared from Columbia County Jail via video, requesting a bond modification, as defense attorney Tristan Eagon argued for a motion to reduce the $5,000 cash bond to a $500 bond that could be posted by a relative.
Eagon pointed to two visitors in the courtroom who were willing to vouch for Rowland, one of whom wrote to Voigt petitioning her release.
“Ms. Rowland has been in custody since Nov. 29 and witness statements would be contrary to what was originally presented in the criminal complaint,” Eagon said, speaking of developments in the case since the arrest. “In addition, the alleged victim has been taking additional steps to threaten witnesses in this case — both of them would testify as to what (the alleged victim) said if necessary.”
District Attorney Jane Kohlwey offered no objection to the motion other than a request for other conditions remaining in place, ordering Rowland to have no contact with the other parties in the case, their residences or workplaces.
“That makes the court’s decision rather easy if everyone agrees,” Voigt said, reducing the cash requirement of the bond to $500.
Rowland is scheduled to next appear in court for a March 3 hearing.