Eight days removed from being arrested and charged with identity theft, Jordan Bowers, clad in orange, appeared before the Grays Harbor Superior Court for her arraignment hearing shortly after 8 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 23, in Montesano.
Bowers, the biological mother and prime suspect in the disappearance of 6-year-old Oakley Carlson, is charged with three counts of first-degree identity theft and one count of second-degree identity theft. Prosecutors have claimed the case does not have any ties to the missing Oakville girl.
Outside of addressing her name to the presiding judge, Katherine Svoboda, Bowers remained silent and let her appointed defense attorney, Michael Nagle, talk for the duration of the hearing, pleading not guilty to the charges levied against her.
When allowed to discuss the notion of bail or a pre-trial release, Nagle expressed that Bowers should be granted supervision to 43-year-old Auburn resident Edward Shaw. Shaw, who was present in the courtroom, claimed to have had a close relationship with Bowers over the last five years and was discussed as a potential supervisor during a Jan. 17 hearing, but was denied due to the court not having any information on him.
After a brief look into Shaw’s criminal history, the request was met with a similar outcome.
“The short answer is no. Mr. Shaw is not an appropriate supervisor with his history. Absolutely not,” Judge Svoboda said. “It needs to be clear she’s not going to be released on bail or on personal recognizance without an appropriate release plan in place. Mr. Shaw is not an option, period, end of story.”
While it’s unclear as to what exactly led to the supervision rejection from Judge Svoboda, Prosecuting Attorney Richard Petersen previously claimed Shaw had a multitude of offenses on his record. Judge Svoboda also took a moment to address the previous bail, an amount of $25,000, which was set during the prior hearing, citing that while the charges are nonviolent there’s more nuance that must be accounted for.
“I reviewed the file and last week Mr. Petersen had made a pitch that bail was low and I do think bail was not set appropriately, and I set it so that’s on me,” Judge Svoboda said. “Her offender score is so high, (Bowers) is looking at a considerable time in prison and the piece that I did not really consider when you talk about flight risk, the whole way that these cards were discovered, is the allegation that she was packing out to flee. It makes her even more of a flight risk.”
As a result, Judge Svoboda increased the bail to $50,000. Due to the offender score and the charges levied against her, Bowers faces the possibility of anywhere between 63 and 84 months in prison if found guilty.
Jail time is not the only thing Bowers could be facing either. Several hours after her arraignment hearing, Bowers was the subject of a restraining order hearing. Trevor Perez, the father of Bowers’ oldest son, has been seeking a permanent no-contact order on behalf of his son since December 2021.
Court Commissioner Jean Cotton, who oversaw the hearing expressed that since Bowers had failed to issue a response or a counter proposal since the petition was filed more than 13 months ago, Perez could file a Motion of Default and submit the proposed parenting plan that he initially presented on final orders for entry.
“I’m just glad it’s getting done, that I’m keeping my son away from the monster that is his mother,” Perez said after the hearing. “I want him protected more than anything. He’s been through a lot and knows a lot about what happened at that house.”
Perez is due back in court to continue the restraining order request against Bowers on Feb. 6. As for Bowers, her trial for the charges of identity theft will begin on March 21, with trial readiness set for March 13 and Omnibus set for Feb. 21.