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  • TheDailyBeast

    House Arrest Couldn’t Stop This Accused Killer From Going Rogue

    By Justin Rohrlich,

    Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

    An accused murderer and Renaissance fair enthusiast out on $100,000 bond as she awaits trial for allegedly shooting her boyfriend in the head has made a mockery of her release conditions, according to prosecutors, who say the woman surreptitiously ditched her court-ordered ankle monitor nearly three years ago—while under house arrest.

    The Missouri Attorney General’s Office now wants Alice Patricia Weiss locked up for her brazen behavior, telling the judge overseeing the case that the 67-year-old lied about her whereabouts. A motion for rearrest filed by the AG says the government is now “concerned for the safety of the community, including witnesses,” and says Weiss, who is charged with second-degree murder over the April 2004 shooting of then-boyfriend James Summers, is a dangerous flight risk.

    Kodi Herlein, who lives across the street from Weiss in Columbia, Missouri, told The Daily Beast that she is “outraged” by the situation.

    Throughout it all, the alleged killer remained in place as treasurer of her local homeowners association, which Herlein says Weiss has used as a cudgel to drag her and her husband into court over minor HOA violations. (Another neighbor previously told The Daily Beast that Weiss was “a pain in the ass,” and “would argue with you about the color of the sky.”)

    “We attended the HOA annual board meeting May 3, 2022 and asked Alice to resign from the HOA board due to her second-degree murder charge, and she refused,” Herlein said.

    Weiss’ attorney, Scott Rosenblum, did not respond to a request for comment. Her former attorney, who Weiss fired last December, previously told The Daily Beast that Weiss “firmly maintain[ed] her innocence. The Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office chose not to file charges 17 years ago for a reason.” He said the “circumstantial evidence” amassed by prosecutors “will prove to be misleading.”

    The morning after this article was first published, Weiss emailed The Daily Beast with her side of the story. She claimed the ankle monitor issue was a misunderstanding; that there was a mixup and the AG’s office got it wrong.

    “The AG’s Motion stated very clearly that they believe I have been lying to the court for almost 3 years now,” Weiss wrote. “The truth is that my attorney submitted motions at various times to the court to amend my bond conditions so that I could 1) go to the funerals of friends; and 2) attend several Renaissance Festivals.”

    The AG “made a mistake,” Weiss argued.

    “They know now that they made a mistake, but they refuse to admit it officially,” she wrote. “They could simply withdraw their motion now that they know they made a mistake, but they have chosen not to do so.”

    Police believe Weiss shot Summers in the head and back with a .22-caliber pistol some two decades ago, leaving him for dead in the driveway of his Dittmer, Missouri home. Investigators questioned Weiss in the aftermath, and fingered her as the prime suspect.

    No other credible suspects ever emerged, but charges were never filed until August 11, 2021, when Weiss was arrested for the cold-case murder. She told a series of conflicting stories to detectives, who considered her excuses implausible, according to a probable cause statement filed at the time by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

    Years after the shooting, Weiss’ cousin told police that Weiss confessed to him in 2008, saying that she “always wanted to know if killing someone was as pleasurable as sex,” the probable cause statement alleges. The cousin, who is not identified by name in court papers, said he asked Weiss why she had shot Summers. In response, according to the probable cause statement, Weiss said “there was ‘little difference between love and hate,’” after which she “went on to compare Summers to her older brother, whom she hated.”

    A week after Weiss was arrested and ordered held without bail, her attorney successfully petitioned the court to release her on $100,000 bond, “with the special conditions of house arrest with GPS monitoring,” according to the AG’s motion for rearrest, which was filed May 15. The next day, Weiss was released and fitted with a GPS-enabled ankle monitor.

    On Sept. 1, 2021, Weiss asked the judge for permission to switch to another ankle monitor provider, which was granted, according to the rearrest motion. (The motion does not specify Weiss’ reason but the new provider, Missouri Alternative Pre-Trial Services, was $70 cheaper for defendants.) She was directed to immediately engage with MAPTS, the motion states.

    Weiss’ case continued to slowly wind its way through the system, and she was kept on a relatively short leash, court documents show. In late August 2023, Weiss—who says she lives on Social Security benefits—petitioned the court, unsuccessfully, for permission to attend a pair of Renaissance festivals “as a way for her to supplement her income.”

    As 2024 got underway, Weiss decided to sell her home, according to a March 28 court filing . She asked for permission to leave her house so she could properly search for another place to live, which was granted, as long as she notified MAPTS every time she went out and submitted a written log of her movements to supplement the GPS tracking.

    “This order does not amend any other bond conditions or house arrest conditions,” the judge’s order states.

    But on March 29, a state investigator contacted MAPTS to confirm the new terms of Weiss’ bond and instead learned she had never been under GPS monitoring with them, according to the AG’s rearrest motion.

    The investigator quickly discovered she had simply ditched her monitor on the day she was supposed to change providers.

    In all, Weiss was only on GPS monitoring for a mere 22 days since bonding out 984 days ago. The motion says she also “failed to file with the Court a log of her travels pertaining to the selling of her home for the month of April.” Accordingly, the motion argues, Weiss has violated the conditions of her bond and should be jailed.

    Kodi Herlein told The Daily Beast she cannot comprehend how Weiss somehow slipped through the cracks.

    But Weiss argued in her email on Thursday that she did, in fact, sign up with a new monitoring company with a similar name, which led to a great deal of confusion. She said her bail bondsman runs a monitoring company that was “previously named ‘Missouri Alternative Pre-Trial Services’ and abbreviated MAPS,” and that she has been a client of theirs since Sept. 9, 2021, when she switched from EMASS.

    “However, MAPS changed their company name to ASAP Monitoring in January 2023,” Weiss wrote. “They notified the court of the name change. It seems that the court never updated their records. There is another company with an almost identical name, but they abbreviate it MAPTS. They are two entirely different companies. The Attorney General’s investigator CALLED MAPTS, WHICH IS THE WRONG COMPANY . That company naturally said I was not one of their clients.”

    She also said that she did not submit her April travel log because she did not make any trips for the purposes of selling her home until May.

    According to a website set up in support of Weiss , she is simply “the victim of slander and libel by a political campaign.” The site says Attorney General Eric Schmitt had aspirations to run for U.S. Senate, and brought the charges against Weiss to “appear tough on crime.” It also portrays the cousin who said Weiss confessed to him as a problematic witness with “a delusional mental disorder,” who held a grudge against Weiss over deep intrafamilial strife.

    The website “Alice is Innocent,” which includes contact info for Weiss and her present attorney, says Weiss met Summers when she was 45 and running the computer network at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The two quickly hit it off and moved in together.

    “Shockingly, on April 27, 2004, Jim was shot outside their home as he was leaving to pick up his daughter from gymnastics class,” the site contends. “Alice was showering at the time, heard several shots, and when she went outside to investigate she found Jim lying on the ground covered in blood. She immediately called 911.”

    It says Summers was a classic car enthusiast, and that “[t]housands of dollars of car parts and personal objects were stolen, but police did not investigate the theft, look into a recent threat to Jim, inspect the grounds for other clues, or check phone records, and the case remained unsolved.” Until, that is, when Weiss was arrested and charged 17 years later.

    “Alice suffers from degenerative disc disease, cervical stenosis, chronic sciatica, polymyalgia rheumatica, shingles, ulnar nerve entrapment, rheumatoid arthritis and neuropathy, and lives in great pain,” the website claims. “When she leaves her house for events that involve standing or sitting for lengthy periods, she must do so in a wheelchair… Alice also has Severe Gluten Intolerance, and cannot eat most normal food without experiencing severe abdominal pain… In 2019, Alice had surgery on her neck because steroid injections were no longer effective and the pain had become unbearable. She now has titanium implants in her neck. She lives every day in pain.”

    In a photo posted on the site, Weiss is pictured at the Central Missouri Renaissance Festival, in full medieval regalia, which, according to the site, “she could only attend in her wheelchair.”

    Weiss was scheduled to appear in court on Monday afternoon, via video link, to answer the AG’s charge of violating her bond. However, the hearing never took place and Weiss remains free. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office confirmed in an email that Weiss is not in its custody.

    Weiss wrote on Thursday that she “would never in a million years have risked going back to jail by discontinuing my GPS monitoring.”

    “The Jefferson County, MO jail is a death trap for me because they refused to honor my medically-prescribed diet (I suffer from severe gluten intolerance and must follow a fat-free diet due to gallbladder issues), and so for 8 days I had no food to eat, and I lost 10 lbs,” she said in her email. “They also refused to give me the correct dose of a medication I need to take every day in order to stay alive, saying it was ‘too expensive.’ If I had to go back to that jail I would be dead in less than a month. I cannot and would not risk that.”

    Herlein, for her part, said, “What she’s put us through, it’s like we’re prisoners in our own home.”

    As for Weiss, she remains steadfast in proclaiming her innocence.

    “You know absolutely nothing about my case except for what you read in the online court records or might have been told by members of law enforcement,” she told The Daily Beast. “If you attend the trial, you will find out the truth.”

    Weiss’ trial is set to begin Dec. 13.

    Read more at The Daily Beast.

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