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Judge Reduces Bail For Maxwells

OSWEGO, NY – A judge today (Aug. 11) reduced the bail for Lynn and Lindsey Maxwell.

However, the new bail imposed by Oswego County Court Judge Walter Hafner is still more than what the Palermo couple originally faced.

On Saturday, the Maxwells were found guilty of four counts each of endangering the welfare of Erin Maxwell, 11, who police allege was murdered in the home by her stepbrother, Alan Jones.

<p>Lindsey, left, and Lynn Maxwell.</p>
Lindsey, left, and Lynn Maxwell.

When the jury’s verdict was announced, Palermo Town Justice Robert Wood revoked their original bail and raised it to $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond.

This morning, Hafner set bail at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond for each of the Maxwells.

They had been free on $2,500 bail prior to their conviction in Palermo Town Court late Saturday night.

Following their appearance in Oswego County Court, the Maxwells were escorted back to jail.

Their attorney, Sal Lanza, said he believes they will be able to make the new bail.

Lanza said he wanted the bail lowered to get his clients out of jail “because of this injustice.”

There are “numerous issues” for appeal, he added.

“We’ll be able to make the bail and we’re happy that it was lowered $5,000,” Lanza said outside the courtroom. “Family members will post the bail.”

Lanza said he will continue to move forward with an appeal of the Maxwells’ conviction.

One of the main points of his appeal is that he wasn’t allowed to call any Department of Social Services workers as witness during the trial.

“There were three investigations against my clients where DSS workers went to the house, looked at conditions of the house and then indicated that there was no problem, this is a lifestyle issue. And then, they closed their books,” he said. “They issued certain directives to remediate everything and my clients met those remedial measures and the department was satisfied.”

“They closed their records; they looked at the house and said everything was fine. And it was OK in 2006 and those conditions, according to the reports from the Department of Social Services, the state of New York, and the Cornell study, those conditions in 2008 were no worse than the conditions in 2006,” he continued.

He was unable to bring those witnesses to the stand in town court, but added, “We’ll see what happens in County Court.”

Another point Lanza will bring up for appeal involves jurors at the trial.

One of whom was having a cigarette break daily with members of the Justice For Erin group and a second juror complained to the judge that the defense attorney said the (juror) whose cell phone rang during court should go outside, Lanza said.

Hafner noted that Lanza was raising some “serious issues.”

The Maxwells have been in Oswego County Jail since their conviction.

They don’t work — Lynn lost her job when she was arrested and Lindsey was a stay-at-home father.

Jones, who is Lynn’s son, is in jail waiting for his trial, which is slated for September.

Bail is not punishment; it is only intended to guarantee that the suspect shows up for court.