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Emmett woman charged in Taryn Summers case waives right to speedy preliminary hearing; denied bond reduction

54-year-old Connie Ann Smith of Emmett is charged with felony failure to notify of a death and destruction of evidence.
Credit: Judge Tyler Smith- YouTube

EMMETT, Idaho — The grandmother of Taryn Summers, the eight-year-old girl whose body was found in a trash bag inside of a car, appeared in court for a preliminary hearing on Monday afternoon.

54-year-old Connie Ann Smith of Emmett is charged with felony failure to notify of a death and destruction of evidence.

During Monday's hearing, Smith waived her right to a speedy preliminary hearing. She is set to appear in court again on May 25, 2021, at 2 p.m.

Smith's attorney Mark Coontz asked Judge Tyler Smith to reduce her bond from $800,000 to $200,000, stating that while the charges against Smith are serious, he does not believe she is a flight risk. Coontz also said Smith would be willing to allow the court to have her location via GPS at all times if her bond was reduced.

The motion was ultimately denied. Her bond remains at $800,000.

Smith was originally booked into the Ada County Jail on a charge of first-degree murder but is not currently facing any murder charge. If convicted, she could face up to 10 years in prison on the failure to notify charge, and up to five for the destruction of evidence.

Authorities have not officially released the victim’s name or a cause of death, although Gem County Sheriff Donnie Wunder said the dead body is believed to be Taryn Summers.

Following the preliminary hearing, Gem County Prosecuting Attorney Erick B. Thomson issued a statement on the other two children missing from Emmett:

The prosecutor's office provides that both Taylor Summers (aka Taylor Quinton) and Tristan Sexton have been interviewed face to face by law enforcement and are in no danger at this time.

This is an ongoing criminal investigation and prosecution. The prosecutor's office will continue to provide updates only it is appropriate and does not plan to respond beyond its provided updates.

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