Woman denied bond in death

WINCHESTER — Bond has been denied to a Frederick County woman charged with murder in the overdose death of a city man last summer.

Amanda Rae Triplett, 24, of the 100 block of Arrowhead Trail, was indicted by a city grand jury last month for homicide and distribution of heroin.

The charges relate to the overdose death of Robert Baker, 35, of the 300 block of Woodstock Lane, who died of a heroin overdose on Aug. 7, 2014.

It was a direct indictment, meaning no criminal complaint was filed in the case.

Triplett was brought to Winchester Circuit Court from the Northwest Regional Adult Detention Center for a bond hearing on Tuesday.

During the hearing, Robert Hahn — a Harrisonburg-based attorney and court-appointed defense in the case — called Triplett’s boyfriend, Brandon Anderson, and her stepfather, Jerry Seal, to give testimony.

Seal said he would take her back into his home if she were given bond, and Anderson — after admitting to having abused prescription drugs — said he and Tripplett had been trying to “get clean” together.

Jason Clark, an investigator with the Regional Jail, also took the stand on Tuesday.

He testified that eight 15-minute conversations between Triplett and Anderson had been recorded, as per jail policy, and that in those conversations they had talked about drug use.

Assistant City Commonwealth’s Attorney Virginia Vile said on Tuesday that a Saturday phone call between Anderson — who lives with Seal — and Triplett indicated that they were planning to use Seal’s prescribed pain medication.

“They are communicating about where drugs are in the house,” Vile said. “She directs [Anderson] on where to find them.”

While making her argument to Circuit Court Judge Clifford “Clay” Athey, Vile said there was also a “possibility” that Seal was allowing them to use his prescription medicine — including oxycontin.

At that point, Seal jumped up in the courtroom and shouted “that’s a lie!” Athey told Seal he would be held in contempt and put in jail if he spoke again. Seal then left the room.

After hearing arguments from both sides, Athey decided that “presumption [had] not been overcome” in the case — meaning that the charge of murder presumes Triplett is not qualified for bond.

Triplett is due back in court Oct. 20 for either entering a plea or setting a trial.

According to an August 2014 obituary, Baker died at Winchester Medical Center. It states he had been “a carpenter and a dedicated family man,” leaving behind two sons and a large family.

— Contact Onofrio Castiglia at ocastiglia@winchesterstar.com

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