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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Missing Girl Hoaxer's Bail Set at $100,000

Aired August 1, 2003 - 19:16   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Updating you on a story we've been following closely now, a judge today ordered Donna Walker held on $100,000 bond today. Walker is the woman accused of claiming to be the long lost daughter of an Indiana couple.
Now, at today's hearing, the judge referred to Walker's criminal past and a troubled psychiatric history in trying to explain why he set the bond so high.

CNN's David Mattingly has more on today's developments.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donna Walker entered a Topeka courtroom handcuffed and in shackles, not saying a word. And not understanding, according to her attorney, why she's behind bars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does she believe that she has committed a crime?

SHERIFF DICK BARTA, SHAWNEE COUNTY, KANSAS: To my knowledge, based upon the statements we have, she still doesn't understand why she's being charged.

MATTINGLY: Walker has said that she's had phone conversations with the Sherrill family of Indiana and that she was only helping with the investigation into the 17-year-long disappearance of Shannon Sherrill.

But nothing from Walker about the accusations that she posed as Shannon and orchestrated what Indiana authorities call a cruel hoax.

MIKE SHERRILL, SHANNON SHERRILL'S FATHER: That's America. Was it a crime?

MATTINGLY: Mike Sherrill, who was publicly devastated by the deception, back at work today, tending to customers at the family store and worried that his alleged tormenter might one day hurt someone else.

SHERRILL: She most definitely does have a problem. Why make it everybody else's problem? Put her away where nobody can -- she can deal with her own problem in her own way.

(END VIDEOTAPE) MATTINGLY: Walker's bond was set at $100,000. A Topeka judge said it had to be that high because he was concerned about her being a flight risk. He read off an entire litany of reasons, most of them related to her mental health. He pointed out she'd had multiple stays in a Kansas mental health facility, also that she was under the care of a psychologist and psychiatrist in that area -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. David Mattingly, thanks.

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