Government attorneys have reversed course and are now allowing the release of a man held after a woman was found dead in a vehicle in Yellowstone National Park.
The mother of the woman found dead in the park last Saturday was identified by her mother as 38-year-old Catheryn Griffin.
Michael Wayne Mccollum, 47 of Texas, will be released Thursday after a video hearing at federal court in Mammoth, Wyo. MTN News confirmed that Mccollum is being held in the Gallatin County Detention Center.
Mccollum was detained when he was found outside his truck last Saturday, about three miles south of Old Faithful on the road to West Thumb. Griffin was found inside the truck.
Mccollum is charged with three misdemeanors including, operating under a suspended or revoked license, possession of a controlled substance and occupants of his vehicle not wearing seat belts.
The Wyoming U.S. Attorney’s office originally asked that Mccollum be kept in detention because he was considered a flight risk and could pose a threat to the community. At the hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Elmore of the Lander, Wyo. U.S. Attorney’s Office offered no explanation for the change in the government’s position on the case.
Mccollum’s public defender, Laura Heinrich, proposed a $250 cash bond for his release but federal Judge Stephanie Hambrick amended that proposal. She ordered a $2,500 non-cash bond and required Mccollum to reside at his brother’s residence in Missouri, maintain every other week contact with his attorney, make all scheduled court appearances, and not break any laws while the case is pending.
The judge noted that Mccollum has what she called “a sketchy history of making court appearances.” She admonished him to make sure he is present for all future court appearances or face criminal charges and possible jail time.
Mccollum’s passport was seized by park rangers when he was detained in Yellowstone last Saturday. The document will be held by the court until his case is cleared. The judge also approved the release of Mccollum’s truck and wallet, both of which were being held by Yellowstone rangers.
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