By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Many of Angela's friends from Creighton flew in for the first court appearance, September 6. They and the Mahers were horrified when Superior Court Judge Michael Ryan released Schulze without setting bond. Schulze pleaded not guilty.
Ronald Reinstein, presiding judge of the criminal division of Maricopa County Superior Court, is not surprised Schulze was released without bond, because a summons--rather than a warrant--was issued by the grand jury.
He explains, "If it's a summons, the state's already telling you that they have no objection to an OR [own recognizance] release, because otherwise they would have requested a warrant at the time of the grand jury. So in this case, if that's what happened, then a summons was issued at the request of the state because they felt that the person didn't have a likelihood of fleeing."
Rose Marie Maher says, "I don't care who you are. If you kill somebody, you're a flight risk."
In hindsight, it's easy to recognize the factors that made Gloria Schulze a flight risk. Although she had no criminal record and had lived in the Valley for years, she had no strong ties to the community. Her parents live in Mission Viejo, California. She rented a house from them that they owned in Scottsdale. She didn't have a regular job, but did freelance secretarial work out of her home. At the time of the accident, Schulze was driving a van registered to her father in California.
But Judge Ryan did not learn all these details. Because Schulze was indicted by a grand jury--rather than arrested and booked at the county jail--she did not undergo a pretrial interview that helps determine whether a defendant is a flight risk or a danger to the community.
The judge did place some conditions on Schulze's release: She was to report by phone once a week to the Pretrial Services Agency, a division of the Maricopa County Superior Court. She also had to report for drug testing three times a week. If a defendant does not cooperate with pretrial conditions, the prosecution can request that her release status be revoked or that bond be imposed or boosted.
Dan Maynard acknowledges that a bond would not have guaranteed that Schulze would have stuck around, but it would have made it more likely, he says.
"You have her parents put up $100,000 or something, because then if she does flee, her parents are going to lose all their money," he says.
Maynard is still shocked by the judge's decision. "You have a woman who is not married, has no children, has no husband, has no property here, and she has no really visible means of employment. Why in the world would you let her out?"
The case was assigned to Judge Barbara Jarrett, and trial was scheduled for November 21, 1994. To the Mahers' dismay, the date was changed six times--without objection by the prosecution--with the final trial set for September 25, 1995. (By that time, the case had been reassigned to Judge Linda Scott.)
Under pressure from the Mahers, O'Hair-Schattenberg filed a motion arguing that Schulze's release conditions be changed. Jarrett denied the request. Longtime observers of the judicial system say Jarrett was correct to deny the motion; there had been no substantive change in Schulze's actions between the arraignment and O'Hair-Schattenberg's motion. Thus, there was no legal reason to change a previous order.
Mitch Rand took over as prosecutor October 21, 1994. Schulze requested permission to travel to California twice--for Christmas, then for her sister's college graduation. Both requests were granted, despite Rand's objections.
Schulze returned--as promised--from both trips. In fact, she showed up for all of her drug tests and court appearances.
Until September 1995.
Rose Marie Maher looked around the courtroom at a pretrial hearing on September 15, and saw only Schulze's parents and her attorney, Larry Kazan.
Rand and Kazan met with Judge Scott in her chambers, then Rand took Maher and Mike Curran into the hall to tell them Schulze had fled, and if anyone knew her whereabouts, he or she wasn't saying.
Rand also told Maher and Curran that he had received a report within the past week from someone who had claimed Maher had made additional threats against Gloria Schulze.
Rand refuses to reveal his source.
He says, "I'm not going to be able to comment whether Mrs. Maher made threats or didn't make threats or what they may have been, because, since she is the victim's mother, potentially she could be called as a witness. So I'd rather not get into any statements that she may or may not have made."
Within hours of the pretrial hearing, Gloria Schulze's mother, Carolyn, filed a missing-person report with the Phoenix Police Department. She told police she feared foul play, and said Rose Marie Maher had physically threatened her daughter.
"Carolyn believes these threats to be legitimate and has now feared that maybe something has happened to Gloria as a result of these threats being made by Rose Maher," the report says.
Carolyn Schulze also told police she had last spoken to her daughter by telephone the week before Memorial Day. She said she had arrived in town September 13 and had gone to Gloria's Scottsdale home. Gloria was not there.