A change in bail conditions for an 83-year old Michigan man in connection with the disappearance and presumed death of his wife more than 40 years ago was considered during a status hearing in Door County Circuit Court Friday afternoon. The murder suspect, Richard Pierce of Cheboygan, Michigan, was arrested last year for the death of his wife, Carol Jean Pierce, in 1975. Pierce faces charges of first degree intentional homicide and disinterment of the dead. A member of the U.S. Coast Guard at the time of his wife’s disappearance, Pierce later moved to Michigan. However, local law enforcement always believed his wife was a victim of foul play.
In September, the Wisconsin cold case review team determined there was enough evidence to take the case to trial. During the court hearing Friday, the defense requested that the bond be modified, based on their client’s medical condition. The prosecution did not object. Following discussion on the bond modification and Pierce’s rehabilitation, Judge David Weber indicated that he would amend the bond to a signature bond so long as Pierce remains in a nursing home and he intends to review the bond upon his release. The action includes a provision to avoid contact with persons on a list provided by the prosecution.