Judge allows Kanawha prosecutor supervised visits with children
A visiting magistrate modified Kanawha prosecutor Mark Plants’ bond Friday morning to allow him to have contact with his children.
Plants, represented by attorney James Cagle, appeared Friday in magistrate court on his motion to modify bond conditions to get change the part that said he would have no direct or indirect contact with his children.
Mercer County Magistrate Mike Flanigan, who was appointed earlier this month to preside over the case, modified Plants’ bond to that extent but left previous conditions in place.
The case stems from allegations that Plants struck his 11-year-old son with a belt more than 10 times after the child pushed his stepbrother off of a scooter.
His ex-wife Allison Plants later secured a domestic violence protective order against him, barring him from contacting their two sons or her.
Plants later was charged with violating the protective order last month when he saw his two sons sitting alone in Allison Plants’ vehicle at Fruth Pharmacy. He stood by the car until she came out of the store.
At Plants’ arraignment hearing, Cagel previously asked the magistrate to remove that portion of the bond so it would mirror Cabell Family Judge Patricia Keller’s order allowing him to have supervised visits with his children.
Kanawha Magistrates Halloran and Kim Aaron agreed to those conditions when Plants was arraigned on related charges; however, Flanigan previously asserted that decision was not theirs to make.
In Friday’s hearing, Flanigan heard the motion to modify his bond for the protective order charge.
Flanigan said the motion for change in bond conditions needed to be set for a hearing and said it was handwritten granted on a document.
Cagle again asked the court to modify conditions so it could be compatible with the family court order. He explained Plants had completed counseling, which determined there would be no immediate safety threat for Plants to resume normal contact with his children.
Sid Bell, who was appointed as special prosecutor in the case, said Allison Plants had no objection to supervised visits and didn’t object to Cagle’s motion. Bell said he had not seen a copy of the counseling report, however.
Flanigan ruled to remove that portion of the bond. He also agreed to change the portion of bond allowing Plants to leave the state for continuing legal education courses.
He explained this case and the violation of the protection order would be two separate jury trials.
Flanigan will take up motions, including Plants’ motion to dismiss the misdemeanor domestic battery charge, in a 1 p.m. hearing on May 21.