An Idaho Falls man who was scheduled to face a jury trial for multiple child sex abuse charges is on the run again.
Deon Waynewood, 40, failed to appear during jury selection Tuesday morning. Both the prosecution and defense were ready to proceed with the trial, but Defense Attorney Kelly Mallard said he had not had contact with his client, and that the phone number he had for Waynewood was no longer in service.
Waynewood's failure to appear is not the first time he has fled. In a news release sent to media on June 2, the Idaho Falls Police Department announced it was searching for Waynewood after he reportedly made contact with the victim in his case. He was found two days later in Denver, Colorado.
Former Bonneville County Chief Deputy Prosecutor John Dewey, who is continuing to work as a deputy for the prosecutor's office on this case, said in court Tuesday that a judge in Colorado had granted Waynewood a low bail after he was arrested. He was able to post bond, allowing him go free.
Mallard suggested it was possible the bail required Waynewood's bail required him to stay in Colorado, and that may have been the reason he could not attend the trial in Idaho Falls. He did not know for sure, however, because his client had not contacted him.
Watkins issued a warrant for Waynewood's arrest based on his failure to appear. He set bail at $750,000.
Mallard asked the court how long he would have to wait to withdraw from the case if Waynewood was not located, saying he did not want to stay on the case if it took long to find his client. He said he could wait three or four months, and Watkins said the court could consider a withdrawal if Waynewood was not found in that time.
Waynewood was arrested in April 2019 after a teen girl reported he had raped and sexually assaulted her multiple times over a two-year period. The probable cause affidavit describes four incidents starting in January 2017 in which he reportedly held her down and raped her.
The victim described one incident in which Waynewood held the victim down by her throat and told her not to "disrespect" him by resisting when he raped her.
“Deon stopped, and he tapped her knee and said that he was just kidding and to have a nice day,” the detective wrote in his report.
The most recent rape described by the victim was in December 2018. She told police she decided to report the abuse and kept her clothes unwashed for evidence.
Waynewood was already a registered sex offender at the time of his arrest based on a conviction in 2000 in Colorado for sexual assault of a child while in a position of trust.
Waynewood's criminal history includes multiple violations based on his sex offender status. In 2015 he was convicted for unlawful access to schoolchildren. That same year he was convicted of misdemeanor enticement of a child. He was charged five times with violating a no-contact order on that case, though four of those cases were dismissed.
Waynewood is charged with two counts of lewd conduct with a minor and two counts of sexual battery of a minor, all punishable with up to life in prison. Each charge has an enhancement based on Waynewood's sex offender status that would require a 15-year minimum. Those mandatory minimums would have to be consecutive, meaning that if Waynewood is convicted, he faces a minimum of 60 years in prison