WEST PALM BEACH — After about a half an hour of banter between a state prosecutor and a defense attorney, Circuit Judge Richard Oftedal this morning set a $10,000 bond for Stefanie Woods, the notorious Girl Scout cookie money thief who was arrested again earlier this month for violating her probation.
Wearing her hair braided and over her right shoulder, 22-year-old Woods was straight-faced for most of the hearing. But when the judge set bond, she looked to the back of the courtroom with a slight smile.
She then fanned her face with her hand and rolled up the sleeves of the grey sweatshirt under her jail uniform.
The minutes leading up to the judge's ruling were spent listening to why or why not Woods should be held in jail.
Woods' attorney Leonard Feuer requested a $1,500 bond, saying the violations she committed are technical and very minor. The Department of Corrections said the violations were minor as well, he said.
Oftedal asked Feuer if the department had recommended Woods spend 60 days in jail.
Feuer conceded it had.
Prosecutor Aaron Papero requested she be held without bond, saying she's a threat to the community and he is concerned that she will not return for future court dates.
To support his request for the low bond amount, Feuer asked Woods about her enrollment in school, her job, and regularly passing required drug tests.
Feuer began with asking Woods how she was this morning.
"Good. How are you?" she said with a smile.
She testified that she has a 3.57 GPA at Broward College and is taking algebra, psychology and developmental writing classes.
When Feuer tried explaining where Woods was when she violated probation, Papero objected.
Feuer tried to admit into evidence phone records and documents from Woods' probation officer, Papero objected on grounds the records are saying they are hearsay because the officer was not present at the hearing.
One of the allegations is that Woods did not show up for a meeting with her probation officer and did not hand in a gas receipt.
When questioned by Feuer about that, Woods said she "of course" would have shown up for the meeting if she had a receipt to turn in. But she said she did not get a receipt for gas she purchased.
Papero called as a witness a law enforcement officer who was involved with Woods' 2009 arrest on charges of kidnapping and robbery.
"It's important that you get a flavor of what we're here for today," Papero told the judge.
The witness, a U.S. Marshal, began testifying to the 2009 incident when Feuer objected.
Papero responded that the judge needs to understand who Woods is and said, "This is the infamous cookie monster."
Woods remained straight-faced and Feuer objected.
Oftedal overruled the objection and the agent's testimony continued.
As of mid-morning, Woods had not posted bond.
"We're very pleased with the court's decision," Feuer said outside of the courtroom. "She is fully compliant and is a model probationer.
The charges, he added, "are garbage."
Woods was placed on house arrest and probation in 2010 after she pleaded guilty to kidnapping and robbery charges. The terms of her probation require her to stay in her Parkland house except when she is working or engaging in another activity approved by her probation officer.
Woods, previously of suburban Lake Worth, was arrested for not complying with the terms of her probation. On two occasions, she was absent from her home for short periods without getting approval. She also failed to report to the probation office on March 7, according to an arrest warrant signed March 15 by Oftedal.
In 2009, Woods, her then-boyfriend and another man robbed a man of prescription drugs while armed with a gun in Palm Beach Gardens, and she pleaded guilty to Girl Scout, Gracie Smith, who was selling cookies at a Boynton Beach Winn-Dixie.
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