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Prosecutor asks for increased bond for man accused of causing wreck that killed pregnant passenger

Clinton Jester Jr.

By Joe Johnson

Two weeks after a judge refused to reduce bond for a man who has been jailed since January on homicide by vehicle charges, a prosecutor filed a motion asking that the amount of bond be increased with the addition of special conditions.

According to Athens-Clarke County police, 37-year-old Clinton Jester Jr. of Hartwell was driving a Chevrolet Trailblazer the morning of Jan. 16 when he ran a red light on Danielsville Road at Hull Road and crashed into a tree.

His front-seat passenger, 27-year-old Alana Barnes of Lavonia died at the hospital, and her 15-week-old fetus did not survive.

Alana Barnes

Police said Jester suffered superficial injuries and that a backseat passenger was not injured.

Jester was taken into custody by police for a parole violation, and they later served him with warrants charging him with first-degree homicide by vehicle, first-degree feticide by vehicle, reckless driving, failure to obey a traffic control device, failure to maintain lane, driving while license suspended, driving too fast for conditions, and possession of methamphetamine.

The charges stemmed from an investigation by ACCPD’s Traffic Unit.

A Magistrate Court judge set a total bond of $8,000 for Jester’s release from pretrial detention.

On Feb. 10, Jester’s public defender requested that the bond amount be reduced due to her client’s indigence,

Western Judicial Circuit Court Judge Lawton Stephens denied the motion at a Feb. 23 hearing in Clarke County Superior Court.

Then on Monday, Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Kwiatkowski filed a motion that asks for Jester’s bond to be increased to an unspecified amount.

The prosecutor notes in the motion that the Magistrate Court judge did not set any special conditions for Jester should he post bond.

In addition to increasing the bond amount, Kwiatkowski asked in his motion that Jester “be placed on pre-trial release and electronically monitored, not drive a motor vehicle, obtain a substance abuse evaluation and treatment, be randomly tested for alcohol and drug use and be given any further conditions the Court may think is appropriate.”

A hearing on the motion is scheduled for March 31.

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