Medford documents reveal judge feared for witnesses’ safety

The official summary of the detention hearing for former Sheriff Bobby Medford on federal extortion charges, and the subsequent ruling by Magistrate Judge Dennis Howell that Medford stay in jail until his trial, reveal that the judge feared that Medford might be a threat to the safety of witnesses if released:

“Based upon this defendant’s previous alleged conduct, which indicates an extensive and systematic conspiracy to obstruct justice for simple pecuniary gain, the court has serious conderns about what additional steps that this defendant might take to secure his liberty and avoid conviction … the undersigned finds by clear and convincing evidence that the release of the defendant would create a risk of harm or danger to any other person or the community and will enter its order detaining the defendant.”

Howell further wrote that he did not find arguments by Medford’s attorney that the former sheriff’s disability and poor health were reasons to release him:

“The defendant has vast experience as a law enforcement officer and as a result is trained in the use of firearms, methods used by law enforcement to detect perpetrators, and to identify and locate potential witnesses. These skills would certainly be of use in obstructing justice and the trial process in this manner. … While the defendant does have significant physical disabilities, these disabilities would not prevent the defendant from obstructing or attempting to obstruct justice. Indeed, the defendant suffered from most if not all of these disabilities during the time of the criminal conduct in which he purportedly engaged.”

Medford, who had many controversial incidents during his tenure as sheriff, will next come before the court on Monday, Jan. 7, when his attorney for his March trial will be named. For more documents related to the case, see the Xpress Files

— David Forbes, staff writer

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2 thoughts on “Medford documents reveal judge feared for witnesses’ safety

  1. Rob Close

    wise decision. but who are his jailers? does he know them? can he sneak orders out through them?

  2. born and bread

    Rob:

    Of course. You think he’s really gonna detox from those pills?

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