Rebecca Smith Haynie had her ankle monitor removed Monday, nine months after it was placed there as part of her bond agreement after she was arrested June 2014 for the 2004 homicide of her husband, Kirby Smith.
Police believe Haynie asked her alleged lover Donald Keith "Bull" Phillips to shoot Smith inside Kirby's Speed Shop at 1438 Jaqueline Drive on March 8, 2004. The two were arrested one year ago after the cable TV show "Cold Justice" on TNT became involved in the cold-case investigation.
Defense attorney Michael Reynolds argued Monday before Superior Court Judge Frank Jordan that Haynie poses no flight risk. One reason for that is Haynie and her husband, Heath, are struggling financially and have used almost their entire retirement to keep their Harris County house.
Before Haynie was arrested last year, she was a nurse and the primary breadwinner for the family.
Now, Haynie is seeing a therapist for depression, Reynolds said, in addition to experiencing problems paying past credit cards. But one major issue with Haynie wearing the ankle monitor is how much it costs.
"She must pay $9 per day," Reynolds said.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Don Kelly said the ankle monitor was requested because Smith's family and friends perceive Haynie as a threat. He's received over 20 letters and several family members have expressed fear, he said. "We don't see a reason to change the conditions at this point," Kelly said. "The same concerns still exist."
Reynolds argued that Haynie and her alleged accomplice Phillips should face the same bond: Phillips also was given a $75,000 bond but wasn't required to wear an ankle monitor.
Jordan asked Kelly on Monday why the defendant hasn't faced an indictment now that her case is over a year old. Kelly said he and District Attorney Julia Slater have spent hours going through hundreds of witness testimony and two investigations' worth of information. He also said one of the main cold case detectives has been tied up with the Steve Toms' homicide trial that has now entered its third week just a few doors down from Jordan's courtroom.
"We're going through the investigation, and it's more complicated because it's 10 years old," Kelly said.
Kelly offered a timeline of 30-60 days when Jordan pressed him for a date.
Smith was killed in the midst of a contentious divorce between Smith and Haynie. Police believe Haynie, who worked at a high-risk nursery in Warm Springs, persuaded Phillips to kill Smith on March 3 while she worked an emergency C-section as an alibi, according to previous reports. Haynie married Heath Haynie about four months after Smith was killed.
Haynie has dramatically altered her appearance since last seen in a courtroom in September. Nine months ago she wore her dirty blond hair long and wavy. On Monday, she was seen with short, straight black hair. There was no photography allowed in the courtroom.