Arnold road rage suspect makes first court appearance

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ARNOLD, Mo. – A Jefferson County judge amended the bond conditions for a man accused of a road rage incident earlier this month in Arnold.

Scott Heatherly, a journeyman mechanic with a criminal past, is facing charges of second-degree assault, first-degree property damage, and second-degree property damage.

Investigators said Heatherly followed a woman from the interstate to a Walgreens parking lot in Arnold back on December 8. Surveillance video shows a man, who investigators believe is Heatherly, kicking the woman’s car, then tackling her and throwing her cellphone after she tried to take a picture of his license plate.

In court Thursday, Judge Jeffrey Coleman granted the prosecution’s request and changed Heatherly’s bond from a $50,000 cash-only to a $50,000 surety bond.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Jefferson County Steven Jerrell argued that leaving the bond at $50,000 cash-only would mean that if Heatherly were to make the bond, he would be free with no supervision.

Jerrell told the judge that having a surety bond would mean that Heatherly could be supervised.

Heatherly’s attorney, Daris Clinton Almond Jr., tried to persuade the judge for a lower bond, but the judge refused.

Judge Coleman changed the bond to $50,000 surety with several conditions. Those include that Heatherly must be supervised during the entire bond period, he cannot drive, he is under house arrest 24 hours a day, he can have no contact with the victim or her family and he cannot leave the state of Missouri.

Almond said the surety bond likely means Heatherly will be able to post a 10 percent bond of $5,000 and get out of jail.

Almond hoped to have Heatherly released by the end of the day.

The victim was in court for the bond reduction hearing. She was emotional in reading a victim’s impact statement, saying she’s “terrified” and lives in “constant fear” since the incident. She told the judge that she can’t leave her house alone for fear of what might happen to her and that she can have anxiety attacks.

Judge Coleman made strong statements to Heatherly calling the allegations against him “horrific” and added that road rage can’t be tolerated.

The judge also pointed to past trouble with the law the Heatherly has had including cases of domestic assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

The judge said the video contained some “pretty horrific acts.”

A next court date was not set during Thursday’s hearing.

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