A murder defendant who had been out on bond for more than four years pending trial was remanded back into custody without bond Tuesday after being charged with DUI.
Vicky McNeely, 74, has yet to stand trial on a charge of first-degree murder in the January 2013 shooting death of her husband, Daniel McNeely. The shooting reportedly was the culmination of a tumultuous relationship during which he allegedly had threatened her with a knife.
Vicky McNeely had been free since Jan. 28, 2013, on $200,000 bond, but Tulsa County prosecutors filed a motion Monday asking District Judge William LaFortune to either revoke or increase her bond based on a charge of aggravated driving under the influence filed against her the same day.
Her bail originally was set at $500,000, but in August 2016 LaFortune lowered it to $200,000 while adding conditions, including surrendering her passport, wearing an ankle monitor and staying away from Daniel McNeely’s family.
Assistant District Attorney Isaac Shields said LaFortune held a bond hearing Tuesday afternoon and decided that Vicky McNeely should remain jailed without bond pending trial.
Tulsa Jail records show that Vicky McNeely, whose first name also has been spelled Vickie, was arrested Friday evening in Owasso and was released from custody early Saturday. The charge against her, a misdemeanor, contends that she had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or higher at the time of her arrest while driving. The legal limit is 0.08.An arrest report indicates that McNeeley told Owasso police that she drank a glass of wine before driving. Police said McNeely submitted to two breath tests at the Owasso Jail, which both indicated a 0.15 blood alcohol content.
McNeely’s murder case has been on appeal since July, with her attorneys, Jason Edge and Melanie Lander, arguing that LaFortune erred when he declined to toss the case June 28 based on the state’s Stand Your Ground law.
The attorneys contend that McNeely adequately showed that she feared for her life when she shot her husband in their home, noting that authorities determined that he had two knives in his hands when he was shot.
The attorneys also pointed out that Daniel McNeely had been charged in 2011 with domestic assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, which stemmed from allegations that he threatened his wife with a knife.
However, LaFortune noted in his June 28 order that a medical examiner said four of the five gunshot wounds Daniel McNeely sustained had points of entry in his back.
He added that bloodstain analysis determined that one of the knives was not being held by its handle during the shooting and said the position of the knives in relation to the man’s body suggested that they might have been moved before police arrived.
Daniel McNeely hired Edge to represent him in his 2011 case, which was ultimately dismissed due to his wife’s decision not to testify against him. Court documents in that case indicated that she grabbed an unloaded revolver, pointed it at her husband and pulled the trigger.
Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Elmore previously moved unsuccessfully to have LaFortune disqualify Edge from representing Vicky McNeely, saying his involvement in her case violates his duty of loyalty to Daniel McNeely.
But in a hearing on the matter, Edge’s attorneys countered that a conflict exists only if Edge had received information from Daniel McNeely that he could use to his advantage in Vicky McNeely’s case.
LaFortune determined that the information Edge had about Daniel McNeely was either already public record or had been disclosed to others besides Edge.
Vicky McNeely had been scheduled for trial in April, but LaFortune postponed the trial in February so he could preside over an evidentiary hearing, the contents of which were referenced in his June 28 refusal to dismiss the case.