Accused FEAR militia member Heather Salmon was arraigned Thursday on 13 counts, including charges of malice murder, felony murder, violations of the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act and making a false statement. She entered a not-guilty plea before Long County Superior Court Judge Robert Russell.
Salmon is a suspect in the December 2011 shooting deaths of Michael Roark, 20, and Tiffany York, 17, near Ludowici.
Russell asked Atlantic Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Isabel Pauley whether the state would seek the death penalty in the case. Pauley said no.
Salmon’s attorney, Charles Nester, asked Russell to reconsider an earlier magistrate-court decision and set a bond for Salmon. Nester pointed out that Salmon never had been convicted of any crime, she previously served in the military, she has four children and her mother lives in Savannah. Nester said Salmon’s children currently are in Washington state, but she hopes her mother will get custody of them so they can return to the area.
Pauley told Russell that the DA’s office adamantly was against setting a bond for Salmon. She said the DA’s office feels the suspect is a flight risk and a danger to the community and other witnesses who are prepared to testify in her case and other cases involving alleged FEAR militia members. Pauley told the judge that her office’s investigation revealed Salmon was one of the highest-ranking FEAR members, and she served as the militia’s CEO for finances.
Russell denied the bond request.
In a separate case, concerns over proper legal representation were dealt with regarding another alleged FEAR member. Pauley reported to Russell that questions had been raised regarding the assignment of an attorney for Randall Dearman, who faces charges of violating the Street Gang and Terrorism Act. After a brief recess, it was determined that McIntosh County attorney Wrix McIlvaine had been appointed by the public defender’s office to represent Dearman. Dearman was arrested with four other men in September.