Shenkman asks attorney to re-argue bond revocation

Richard J. Shenkman, accused of kidnapping his ex-wife and holding her hostage on July 7, has asked his attorney to re-argue the question of bond before the New London judge who revoked his bail.

The bond argument will take place Nov. 5 before Judge Susan B. Handy.

Shenkman, 60, was free on $575,000 bail on charges that he torched his ex-wife's Niantic beach house in March 2007 when he allegedly kidnapped her at gunpoint from a Hartford parking garage this summer and held her hostage at his South Windsor home.

New London state's attorney Michael L. Regan, who was prosecuting Shenkman in the first arson case, asked Handy to revoke the bail based on the new charges. Handy granted the state's motion on the basis that Shenkman violated the conditions of his release by committing new crimes and having contact with his ex-wife.

Defense attorney Hugh F. Keefe petitioned the state Supreme Court to review the bail revocation, arguing that it was unconstitutional to deny a defendant reasonable bail.

The high court upheld the bond revocation.

Keefe told the judge of Shenkman's request to re-argue the bond matter Tuesday when Shenkman appeared briefly in New London Superior Court. Two correction officers led the unshaven, unkempt former advertising and public relations executive into the courtroom. Judge Handy said the Niantic arson case would be on hold while Shenkman undergoes a psychological evaluation in the new case, which is being heard in Hartford Superior Court.

Shenkman is being held on $12.5 million bond on charges that he kidnapped Nancy P. Tyler on July 7, held her hostage throughout the day while he negotiated with police by phone, and torched his South Windsor home after Tyler escaped. Shenkman's next appearance in the Hartford case is Sept. 23.

Keefe said he would be filing a written motion requesting that Judge David P. Gold impose a gag order in the case. Keefe asked Gold for the gag order at Shenkman's August appearance in Hartford, but Gold said the request must be in writing. Keefe said he wanted the order because Tyler had gone on television shows to talk of the hostage ordeal and that further publicity endangered his client's right to a fair trial.

Keefe made a similar request of Judge Handy in New London, which she denied.

k.florin@theday.com

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