After listening to passionate arguments from one of Brittany Monk’s court-appointed attorneys and a prosecutor, a Baton Rouge state judge said Friday he’s not inclined to lower the 18-year-old Walker woman’s $400,000 bail in what a sheriff’s detective called the “very brutal homicide” of a man who sexually abused her as a child.
District Judge Tony Marabella, who is presiding over the second-degree murder case of Monk and her boyfriend Jace Crehan, promised to rule soon — likely next week — on Monk’s bail reduction request.
Crehan, 21, also remains jailed on $400,000 bail, but he has not asked for his bail to be lowered.
Nineteenth Judicial District Court Commissioner Nicole Robinson set the bail amounts.
Monk was 17 and seven months pregnant when the body of 47-year-old Robert Noce Jr. was found July 4 stuffed inside a 55-gallon plastic drum in the kitchen of his Zachary trailer, less than two weeks after he was put on probation for sexually abusing Monk.
He had been strangled and stabbed.
Monk delivered a baby boy on Sept. 8, four days after pleading not guilty in the death of Noce, who was the boyfriend of Monk’s mother. Monk and Crehan were indicted Sept. 2 by an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury.
Crehan’s stepmother, registered nurse Dawn Crehan, testified Friday she has been caring for the newborn child since Sept. 10 and is willing to give Monk and the baby boy a room in her St. Charles Parish home if Monk is released on bail.
Dawn Crehan, who lives with her husband and two teenage daughters, insisted she has no concerns with Monk and the baby living with her, despite prosecutor Darwin Miller’s statement that a then-pregnant Monk displayed total disregard for her unborn child when she allegedly unlawfully entered Noce’s residence.
Lindsay Blouin, one of Monk’s attorneys, noted that Monk has been jailed at East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for 128 days with no disciplinary infractions and asked Marabella to take into consideration her age, indigency and lack of prior criminal record.
“She wished to see her child. She wishes to hold her child,” Blouin told the judge.
Blouin also said Monk “never wished for people to know about the things that happened to her as a young child.”
Miller urged Marabella to review letters that Monk has written to Jace Crehan while jailed — letters that the prosecutor argued show she is a danger to herself and others, and is a flight risk.
In one letter, she referred to moving to Canada if she gets out of jail.
Sgt. Scott Henning, the homicide supervisor at the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, testified that Monk made a veiled reference to suicide in another letter. She is now being monitored more closely, he said.
“She’s young. She’s immature. I think the letters reflect that,” Blouin countered.
She’s also untruthful, Henning added.
“To be honest with you, I don’t think we ever got any truth out of her,” he said of her early discussions with law enforcement.
Miller argued Monk has not displayed “one scintilla of remorse” for putting her unborn child in a very dangerous situation on July 4.
“That (bonding with her baby) should have been happening when she was seven months pregnant,” he added.