Despite violating the conditions of his recent release from Pima County jail, Oro Valley resident Trevor Draegeth will be allowed to remain out of custody, but with new restrictions.
Trevor, 37, is facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of his wife, Laurie Draegeth. He called police to his home the morning of Feb. 12, where Oro Valley officers found Laurie face up in their bed with a gunshot wound to her left eye.
The county medical examiner and investigators ruled Laurie’s death a homicide, however Trevor maintains that his wife killed herself in front of him with his gun. He will plead not guilty in court.
On April 11, the day after Trevor was released from jail on a reduced bond of $250,000, he attempted to communicate with Natalie Anderson, Laurie’s sister. He sent a mobile game request with attached messages to Anderson’s boyfriend, Chris Selders, through Words With Friends, an online game the two used to play together.
On April 16, Trevor posted a Facebook comment on a public tribute to Laurie, created by her brother. Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall said the comment was directed at Laurie’s family as a message, and was not a post of condolences.
Prosecutors used these two incidents as evidence to convince Judge Jeffrey Bergin to order Trevor to be taken back into custody and have his bond significantly increased.
Instead, in an apparent change of heart, Bergin allowed Trevor to stay out of jail and ordered that he be barred from all internet access with the exception of contact with his designated clients and work-related matters. Trevor is a practicing lawyer with his own firm that specializes in wills and estates contracts.
“I fully intended to take you into custody this morning because your violation, and I do believe this was a direct violation of the court’s order, was intended to reach out to these folks,” Bergin told Trevor at the trial.
Deputy County Attorney Bruce Chalk gave Bergin letters from Laurie’s family, who are concerned about Trevor’s relationship with his and Laurie’s two children, who are 9 and 7 years old.
“One of their concerns is if he’s doing this to the adults, who have the capacity to respond, what about the children that he’s supposed to be following the DCS plan with and contact with them,” Chalk said.
Chapman, who spoke on behalf of Trevor at the trial, said this was a “red herring” because all of Trevor’s contact with his children has been supervised by the Department of Child Safety, per the court’s orders, and will remain that way.
“He had just spent a month or more in jail, and frankly, wasn't thinking clearly when he did this,” Chapman said. “It was a huge mistake.”
He argued that the conditions of Trevor’s release still remained: he has no criminal history and is physically impaired due to Multiple Sclerosis which makes him not a flight risk.
Bergin told Trevor that if he violates the court’s orders again, he will be taken back into custody with a much higher bond.