ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WDHN) — A Geneva County man was released on bond for a capital murder charge after his hearing.
Robert Aaron Hvarven was released June 5 after gaining approval from Circuit Judge Jeffrey Kelley. Hvarven was arrested for the deaths of James Matthew Helms and Scott Allen Heib on Oct. 2, 2018, 11 years after the two men were found dead in their home on County Road 622.
According to the Dothan Eagle, the two men were roommates at the time of their deaths. The investigation discovered that they were shot with a Taurus .44-caliber revolver.
Hvarven, who used to live in Enterprise, was charged with capital murder following his arrest and was held in the Coffee County Jail without bond, as is the usual case with capital offenses.
“We worked at different times over … 11 years,” Enterprise police Chief T.D. Jones said in a press conference back in October. “In the last two or three years, the two gentlemen you see up here on each side of me have worked hard, really worked hard on this case.”
However, the court decided that Hvarven’s case did not meet the requirements set forth by Trammell v. State (1969) to keep him from getting bailed out of jail.
These requirements are:
- That a capital offense has been committed
- Whoever is accused of the crime is the guilty agent
- That if convicted, the accused could be punished capitally for his crime.
According to Kelley’s order (which you can read here), the evidence presented at the hearing showed that the second requirement was not met.
“After due consideration that the State did not make a clear showing that the Defendant is the guilty agent and the Defendant has overcome the presumption of guilty, the Defendants age, background, family ties, lack of criminal history, and the fact that the Defendant has not fled the areas since the time of the alleged offense in 2007, It is ORDERED that the Defendant may be released from custody,” Kelley wrote.
The judge did attach several conditions attached to Hvarven’s release, which include updating authorities on his current residence, not contacting the victims’ families and wearing an ankle monitor every day. He will also be under a 9:00 p.m. curfew.
Correction: The first draft of the story had a typo that said the killing happened on County Road 662. It actually occurred on 622.