Michael Lynch offered the court explanations last week for all the release violations he’s accused of, including a story about how his ankle monitor fell off when he was trying to put on a heavy-duty work boot.
But the state of Wyoming wasn’t buying it.
“The entire contact between the defendant and the court system has been a lie,” Teton County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Clark Allan said. “It’s been lie upon lie upon lie upon lie.”
Judge Timothy Day raised the defendant’s bond to $100,000 on Thursday afternoon after hearing arguments from Allan, Lynch and Lynch’s attorney, Elisabeth Trefonas.
“Based on the admitted violation alone the court finds that there are aggravated circumstances regarding the revocation of the release that involve a monthlong harboring of intent that he violated his release from the court,” Day said. “That alone justifies a significant increase of the bond.”
Lynch is facing a slew of charges including aggravated burglary, theft, forgery and domestic battery.
He was out on pretrial release until Dec. 12, when police arrested him for violating a no contact order by texting a witness in the case. Police found Lynch’s GPS ankle monitor in his hotel room in Victor, Idaho, between the bed’s headboard and the wall, they said.
“I was gearing up for work for a logging job, and I have hard-shell boots,” Lynch told the court. “The bondsman put the ankle monitor on loose, and an hour into it, it snapped off. It wasn’t cut or tampered with.”
Even so, Lynch admitted the violation. He denied violating two orders of no contact that are in place to protect a witness and a victim in the case.
Lynch also pleaded with the court to be lenient, saying that he’s always maintained contact with his attorney and the authorities and that most of the allegations against him were misunderstandings.
“I called the sheriff’s office in Driggs to ask if there was a warrant for my arrest, and they said they couldn’t tell me over the phone,” Lynch said. “I was always trying to follow instructions.”
Lynch said he tried to alert Teton Bail Bonds when his ankle monitor fell off but owner Kelly Circle was out of town.
“It was a big mistake not properly communicating that problem,” Lynch told Judge Day.
Trefonas said her client has never put up a fight when he’s been wanted by police.
“When dealing with law enforcement he was cooperative and polite,” she said. “And he does have stable employment.”
Lynch owns Teton Precision Scapes.
“He has a masters in business administration,” Trefonas told the court.
But police say Lynch has stolen more than 400 pricey items from his clients over the last few years. The evidence list is long, listing everything from prescription drugs and long guns to leather chaps and expensive rugs.
Allan said the 37-year-old Jackson man violates his terms of release every time he bonds out of jail. He said Lynch eluded police early on in his case by cutting his hair and hiding under his ex-girlfriend’s bed when deputies came looking for him with an arrest warrant.
“I am going to try to give you a clear picture of who you are dealing with here,” Allan told the court. “He just doesn’t show up voluntarily if he can avoid it. I believe this defendant to be a severe flight risk who will not follow the court’s orders at all.”
Lynch denies hiding from police under the bed but the Teton County Sheriff’s Office says it has body camera video to prove it.
“If there is video of me being dragged out from under the bed I would love to see it, because I don’t think it exists,” Lynch said in court.
Lynch remains in the Teton County Jail awaiting trial.