Bond Denied for Husband Accused in Wife's Killing

6:27 PM, Mar 31, 2011   |    comments
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James Clements

Bond was denied today for a Warner Robins man accused of arranging a murder-for-hire plot against his wife.

James E. Clements, Jr. appeared this morning in Houston County Superior Court.

He and two other men are accused in the murder of Joni Clements, his wife.

Witnesses on his behalf today included his daughter, 20-year-old Jorden Anne Clements, and family friends.

Jorden Anne Clements testified that she and several others in her family are supportive of the 55-year-old Robins Air Force Base employee.

When asked if she believed her father would appear in court if let out on bond she responded: "Absolutely he would be here."

District Attorney George Hartwig argued Clements would be a danger if released and likely to flee.

In a cross examination of witnesses, he said Clements had planned his wife Joni's death.

Hartwig asked one character witness who worked with Clements if he knew that Clements had drawings of a firearm silencer in his work toolbox and had allegedly solicited others at his job to kill his wife.

Judge Edward Lukemire ordered Clements back to jail without bond on the grounds that the 55-year-old might try to intimidate witnesses in the ongoing investigation.

Lukemire said he can reapply for bond in writing after thirty days.

After the decision, Sherrie Bussineau read a prepared statement saying her brother is innocent. She also denied that James and Joni Clements had a rocky marriage.

"There's no reason either of them would ever hurt each other," Bussineau said.

Karen Allen, a longtime friend of Joni Clements, says she still doesn't know what to believe and is still battling the heartbreak of the 47-year-old's death.

"She's the victim in this case, and no amount of justice is going to bring her back," Allen says.

Two other men are charged with the February shooting.
53-year-old Robert Sybert was denied bond during a hearing last week.

His son, 29-year-old Richard Sybert, is the accused shooter. He was arrested in Jacksonville and is awaiting extradition to Georgia.

Hartwig says he plans to present the case to the grand jury within 60 days.

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