CHEYENNE – A Laramie County District Court judge denied a request Monday to reduce the bond of a local woman accused of killing her fiancé while their children were present.
Danelle Ashley Moyte is currently charged with five felonies: first-degree murder, aggravated assault and battery and three counts of child abuse with mental injury. She pleaded not guilty to the charges last July, and her trial is set for 9 a.m. Dec. 6.
In lieu of a bond reduction, Laramie County District Judge Thomas Campbell allowed that the bond could be paid via commercial bondsman. If Moyte were released, she would be required to wear an ankle monitor, Campbell said.
Moyte’s attorney, State Public Defender Diane Lozano, had asked that the court reduce Moyte’s bond from $500,000 cash to $50,000 cash. The state objected to the motion.
In the motion, filed July 13, Lozano argued Moyte was not a flight risk or danger to the community, as she had no criminal history other than traffic citations. Before being charged with murder, Moyte was “a longtime educator and was a positive contributor to this community,” the motion reads.
Lozano wrote that, if released, Moyte would live with her sister and have support from her parents and siblings, who live in Cheyenne, along with Moyte’s children. Lozano said Moyte is employable and could find work with one of her siblings.
Lozano said during the Monday hearing that being unable to meet with Moyte face to face because of COVID-19 restrictions at the Laramie County jail had made things difficult for the defense. She also argued that Moyte’s three biological sons were struggling without their mother.
Laramie County District Attorney Leigh Anne Manlove objected to how Lozano characterized Moyte, adding that her bond shouldn’t be reduced because of her positive actions or contributions to the community, because those circumstances didn’t prevent her from allegedly killing her fiancé, Christopher Garcia.
The district attorney also rejected the suggestion that Moyte’s sister’s home would be an appropriate place for Moyte to live, as Moyte’s sister had, just last year, reported a domestic violence incident by her spouse, later seeking a protection order for a different incident. Manlove said Moyte is a survivor of domestic violence, and not only might the home be unsafe for her, but it could potentially trigger an adverse reaction.
Manlove also argued that Moyte spent hundreds of hours on the phone each month, and that being in jail did not hinder her ability to communicate with Lozano.
Judge Campbell agreed that Moyte likely did not present much of a danger to the community, but that the possibility of spending the rest of her life in prison could motivate anyone to flee.
“It may very well be unlikely, but it’s a risk, and I view it as a real risk,” Campbell said.
The Laramie County Circuit Court held Moyte without bond from May 16, 2020, until June 19, 2020, when her bond was set at $500,000, according to court documents.