Telegraph, The (Nashua, NH)

November 6, 2003

Judge weighs bail for Malone

NASHUA – A judge will consider bail for a former school counselor accused of running off to Florida with a student with whom she’d become romantically involved. Jennifer Malone, 32, of Farmington has been jailed since her arrest on a stalking charge Sept. 29.

Malone pleaded innocent to the misdemeanor charge Thursday in Hillsborough County Superior Court, where Judge Bernard Hampsey heard arguments over how high her bail should be set.

Prosecutors argue Malone should be held without bail because the alleged stalking came after she’d been released on $50,000 bail on a felony kidnapping charge.

Hampsey refused to hear that request Thursday, however, saying it would delay a scheduled jury trial, and instead heard arguments on how high Malone’s bail should be set on the stalking charge.

Malone is charged with kidnapping, accused of fleeing to Florida on June 16 with her 8-year-old son and Christopher Cole, then 16, of Nashua, after learning the state Division of Children Youth and Families was investigating her relationship with Cole. Malone met Cole at the Mount Prospect Academy in Plymouth, where he was a student and she worked as a counselor until she was fired in May.

Malone pawned her wedding ring in Knoxville, Tenn., and about a week after they left New Hampshire, her minivan was found abandoned at a beach in Clearwater, Fla. That same day, a bus station employee in St. Petersburg, Fla., saw Malone and Cole kissing on a bench at the station, and recognized them from news reports. Malone was arrested, and Cole taken into custody and returned to his mother in Nashua.

Malone was released Aug. 25, after her parents posted a $50,000 bail bond on the kidnapping charge, Assistant Hillsborough County Justin Shepherd said. Malone was ordered to have no contact with Cole, he said, but on Sept. 30, she allegedly drove past him twice while he was outside near his home, then stopped and asked him to meet her to talk, Shepherd said. Cole went straight home and told his mother, who called police, he said. Shepherd has asked that Malone’s original bail be revoked, because of the alleged stalking, but that matter will be scheduled to be heard another time.

Shepherd urged Hampsey to set $100,000 cash-only bail on the stalking charge, “based on her utter disregard for a court order.” Malone’s NH defense lawyer, Adam Bernstein of Nashua, suggested that her bail remain at $10,000, as set in Nashua District Court.

“I think that’s ridiculous,” Bernstein said of Shepherd’s suggestion.

“So do I,” Hampsey interjected.

Continuing his argument, Bernstein noted Malone already had $50,000 bail set on the kidnapping charges, and added to think she might put up $100,000 cash was “absurd.”
“Isn’t one word inclusive of the other?” Hampsey asked.

Malone’s parents don’t want to try and post another $10,000 bail until the request to revoke her earlier bail is resolved, Bernstein said. Malone will live with her parents, if released, he said. “She doesn’t present a danger to anybody,” Bernstein said. “They put their house up (for bail), judge. She’s not going anywhere.”

Hampsey did not rule on bail immediately.

Copyright, 2006, The Telegraph, Nashua, N.H. All Rights Reserved.