By Dave Andrusko
It was seemingly just an ordinary press release:
“Stafford, VA: The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office is requesting the public’s assistance in locating or reporting the whereabouts of Kristy Lechelle Cokley aka Kristy Lechelle Eura, age 28 of Fredericksburg. Kristy Cokley is wanted in Stafford County for her Failure to Appear in Stafford County Circuit Court after the court had allowed her to be out on bond so that she could have a medical procedure.”
But, as it turns out, that “medical procedure” was an abortion—and that Cokley, 28, had been released on bond on September 26 and was expected back in court October 3.
Only she didn’t return. As of today, it is not known whether Cokley, who has three other children, has had the abortion.
Cokley and another woman were arrested for stealing over $500 in clothes from a local T.J. Maxx. According to the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, Cokley was already a felon “out on bond for charges in Spotsylvania County, including manufacturing illegal drugs, possession of a firearm while in possession of illegal drugs and possessing a firearm as a felon.”
The prosecutor, George Elsasser, argued that her record made her an “unsuitable candidate for another bond.” The Free Lance-Star’s Keith Epps reports that Cokley’s attorney, Jason Pelt, tried two arguments with Judge J. Howe Brown.
Initially, he contended that his client should be out on bail so she could take care of her three children, who were living with Cokley’s mother. Epps writes
“Elsasser scoffed at that argument, saying that Cokley was ‘well aware of her parental responsibilities when she was out committing crimes.’
“When that argument didn’t work, Pelt requested the Cokley be released long enough to get an abortion, presumably about two weeks.
“Elsasser objected to that request, as well.”
However Judge Brown indicated once he received a letter from a doctor’s office with specifics, he was open to approving the request. Which is what happened.
The other twist in this story is that Pelt told Epps after the judge indicated he was open to the request for bail, that “as a Christian he is personally opposed to abortion,” Epps wrote. “But he said he is obligated to work for his clients…”