PROVO A man recently convicted of a felony DUI bailed out of jail a month before his sentencing not to run, but to get his teeth worked on.
Robert J. Kent VanDyke, 42, walked into Provo's 4th District Court Wednesday afternoon, silencing speculation that his family had bailed him out of the Utah County Jail Saturday morning with a $100,000 cashier's check so he could flee.
"The judge asked why we didn't bail him out sooner," Debbie Whitehead, VanDyke's girlfriend, said after the hearing. "We thought he would be acquitted at trial. Bail was premature at that point. But then we needed to get him out for these medical reasons."
During his four days of freedom, VanDyke got nearly $1,500 worth of dental work done on two broken teeth that his family said the jail didn't want to fix, just pull out.
At Wednesday's hearing prosecutor Craig Johnson argued bail should be revoked now that VanDyke has been convicted. Defense attorney Shelden Carter assured the court his client will not flee and should be allowed to stay out of jail for another month.
By the end of the hearing, Judge Claudia Laycock ruled that given VanDyke's seven prior DUI and one automobile homicide convictions, he must stay in jail until his May 28 sentencing.
"Given that history, and given to what's been offered to me to show me that he is not going to be a risk to the community, I cannot find by clear and convincing evidence ... that he will not pose a danger to the physical well-being and safety of the community," Laycock said. "For those reasons, I revoke the prior bail and order the $100,000 returned to the people who posted it and I take him back into custody."
VanDyke was most recently convicted by a jury on April 8 for a felony DUI in Spanish Fork on Sept. 25, 2007.
He had been in custody since before Christmas and was incarcerated during his trial, so Johnson said he didn't think VanDyke would post the $100,000 cash-only bail before sentencing.
Laycock also rhetorically questioned why the family waited so long to bail him out.
"It just concerns me," she said. "The timing seems just a little interesting."
Johnson argued that according to Utah state code, a defendant is no longer entitled to bail after being convicted unless the defendant presents "clear and convincing evidence" that he or she will not "flee the jurisdiction of the court and will not pose a danger to the ... safety or well-being of any other person or the community if released," according to code.
Carter said VanDyke has installed a breath-testing machine in his house and gets random phone calls every several hours, requiring him to breathe into the machine to test his alcohol level.
"We can almost assure the court that there will not be any alcohol consumption at all," Carter said.
VanDyke is also under restrictions Laycock previously imposed that he avoid places that sell alcohol and not even get behind the wheel of a car. His license has also been revoked.
VanDyke's family is still upset by the verdict and said they believe the jury pool was tainted by negative media coverage, thus preventing a fair trial."My son never had a chance," said father Bob VanDyke.