FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- A judge has granted bond to a Roswell father who police say took off with his two young sons, leading to a nationwide AMBER Alert.
With his naturally gray hair closely cut, 48-year-old Daniel Cleary sat in chains listening as prosecutors described what they say was a detailed plan to leave the state with his kids.
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Roswell Police Det. Jennifer Bennett was called to the stand and said Cleary failed to return 9-year-old Ben and 8-year-old Henry to their mother in December. The couple is divorced and has a strict shared custody order.
Det. Bennett said she learned from the phone company that Cleary had turned off his phone. She said she found his car ditched in a restaurant parking lot and discovered he'd bought a new one with cash. She also said bank records showed Cleary had liquidated his IRA and withdrawn cash from several accounts in the weeks leading up to his disappearance with the boys.
Authorities issued an AMBER Alert. It was a clerk at a hotel in Austin, Texas who recognized the trio and called authorities.
"The boys said they were not harmed in any way. They did say their father had advised them that their mother was going to be in the hospital for a few months because she was very ill," Bennett said.
The judge formally charged Cleary with two counts of interfering with custody and then granted him $40,000 bond.
The boy's mother, Theresa Nash sat quietly in the courtroom and declined comment, clearly stunned that he would be getting out of jail.
Rena Collier with the Fulton County DA's office said as much to the judge.
"She is fearful not only for herself, but also for her children. He is a flight risk not only alone but with the children," Collier said.
If and when he bonds out, Cleary must wear an ankle monitor and cannot talk, phone, email or text his sons.