FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - Friends and family were stunned inside a Fulton County courtroom Monday when a man accused of running off with his kids to Texas, sparking a nationwide Amber Alert, was granted bond.
Channel 2's Shae Rozzi was in the courtroom Monday for the hearing where investigators revealed that Daniel Cleary drained his bank accounts and did other things that made it look like he'd been planning to disappear with his kids.
Cleary's defense attorney, Stanley Constant, made one point clear to the judge during the hearing: "The children were not harmed in any way."
Not physically harming his sons, Ben and Henry, may have been what led the judge to give Cleary bond.
Roswell police investigator Jennifer Bennett testified how she believed Cleary had planned to take off with the boys during a Christmas visit.
"Mr. Cleary was removing large amounts of cash through withdrawals through the bank and the ATM," Bennett said.
She said he used the cash to buy a new car without being traced, mailed his house keys to a friend in Tennessee and told him where he could find his previous car that he'd abandoned.
The investigator said Cleary told his sons their mother was sick and they wouldn't be seeing her for a while.
The boys' mother, Theresa Nash, sat quietly and listened closely.
In December, Nash made public pleas on Channel 2 Action News to get Cleary to return the boys safely.
She shared her reunion with her sons with Channel 2 Action News after they were found with their father at a Texas hotel.
"She is fearful for not only her but also for her children. This defendant has no ties to his community whatsoever. In fact, she's informed us that in fact his property has been foreclosed," said Assistant District Attorney Rewa Collier. "This defendant is definitely a flight risk."
Nash appeared to be surprised that the judge gave Cleary bond. She changed her mind about talking to Rozzi after the hearing.
Cleary is not allowed to have any communication with Nash or their sons.
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