Connelly set for bond hearing

A hearing is set for Aug. 31 on a motion to reduce the bond set for an ex-bookkeeper accused of defrauding the Key Royale Club of $387,000.

Holly Elaine Connelly, 29, was arrested in July and charged with one count of scheming to defraud in excess of $50,000.

She has remained at the Manatee County jail since her arrest, with her bond set at $500,000.

The bond hearing was set for 3:30 p.m. Aug. 31 at the Manatee County Judicial Center in Bradenton, though it was not clear from court records whether Connelly would appear before the judge in person or via a video-transmission from the jail.

Connelly’s attorney, assistant public defender Jessica Casciola, is seeking a reduction in bond, arguing that her client is financially unable to post the amount required under the $500,000 bond and that the amount is excessive and violates the defendant’s U.S. and state constitutional rights.

Connelly has pleaded not guilty to the charge and demanded a jury trial.

In court records, the prosecution alleges that Connelly, who worked at the Holmes Beach golf club from June 2008 to April 2011, forged checks that were deposited into her Wachovia bank account.

If convicted on the charge, which is classified as a first-degree felony, Connelly could be sentenced to 30 years in prison.

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