A Beckemeyer woman who backed a car over her toddler son last year was granted a partial bail reduction Friday in her new meth-possession case.
Nicole Voss, 36, was in St. Clair County Circuit Court for an initial appearance in the meth case. She was arrested Sunday after she allegedly drove a car onto a curb in Lebanon.
Voss mostly kept her head down as her public defender, Thomas Philo, spoke on her behalf. Philo asked to have Voss' bail reduced from $20,000 to $5,000. With a bail of $20,000, she would have needed to post $2,000 in cash — the required 10 percent — in order to be released on bond.
Assistant State's Attorney Julie Elliot objected to a bond reduction, arguing that Voss keeps getting in trouble, even though she was let out of jail in February on a case in Clinton County and is free on probation in a case out of Jefferson County, Missouri.
Circuit Judge Stephen McGlynn, in deciding whether to reduce the bail, noted the death of Voss' son. He said that although no charges have been issued against her in connection with the boy's death, he has concern that she could have a drug problem.
"What a tragedy. You have not been charged yet. It's not for me to speculate," McGlynn said.
But he added: "I have to be concerned. You have picked up a couple of charges that suggest you're grappling with substance issues. I want to see you succeed. I would like you to overcome any substance issues you have. People come in thinking we're trying to mess with people who party with drugs, but bad things happen when people let drugs into their system."
McGlynn ended up reducing Voss' bail to $15,000, meaning $1,500 in cash will have to be posted for her release on bond. As of Friday afternoon, she remained in the St. Clair County Jail. The judge also ordered that Voss undergo a drug evaluation.
Philo entered not guilty pleas on Voss' behalf and asked that her case be scheduled on the trial docket.
Voss appeared to wipe tears from her eyes a couple times as McGlynn looked at and spoke to her. As he asked her whether she understood what he was saying to her, she nodded affirmatively.
Outside the courtroom, when asked by a reporter if she wanted to comment, Voss declined.
Voss has been arrested three times since the Aug. 7 death of her 2-year-old son, Jensen Voss. Investigators say Jensen was in the car but climbed out as Nicole Voss was closing the rear hatch. The mother did not realize her son wasn’t in the car and began to drive away, striking and killing the child, according to police.
Jensen Voss died in the driveway of a Keyesport man who was facing two pending meth charges. In an interview in the days following the boy's death, the resident told the News-Democrat there were no drugs being done at his home when Nicole Voss was there. He said Nicole Voss was there visiting a mutual friend.
No charges have been issued in connection with Jensen's death. A spokeswoman for Clinton County State's Attorney John Hudspeth on Wednesday said the boy's death was still under investigation and review. Clinton County Sheriff's Office officials said the investigation on their end is complete.
Voss has been on probation since November for the Jefferson County drug case, in which she was charged with possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
In the newest case, Lebanon police Sgt. David Tutterow said officers were sent to the 500 block of South Madison Street in Lebanon on Sunday for a report of a motorist who needed assistance. Officers found Voss' vehicle up on the curb. She was charged with driving on a revoked or suspended license and with possessing less than 5 grams of meth.
In the Clinton County case, Voss is accused of driving into a man's yard and causing ruts on Feb. 22. She was released after $1,730 was posted for her bond.
A condition of her bond in the Clinton County case was that she not violate any laws. As of Friday, Clinton County prosecutors had not filed a request to have her bond revoked there.