LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Wednesday, a Federal Magistrate ruled that former Hockley County Sheriff's Deputy, Gordon Bohannon, can bond out of jail and stay with a third party until his hearing.
Bohannon was arrested July 10th in Levelland and faces 11 charges accusing him of aiding a methamphetamine drug ring.
Despite Wednesday's ruling Bohannon could still remain behind bars. Immediately after the ruling the prosecution appealed to U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings. He granted the government's motion to keep Bohannon behind bars until he reviews the appeal. If Cummings rules in favor of the government, Bohannon's not going anywhere.
However, Bohannon's family and friends who sat in court were very pleased with Wednesday's ruling. "We were all thrilled. I mean, you could just see everybody breathe a sigh of relief because he's going to get to be with his family where he belongs," said Carloyn Webb who sat among family and friends of Bohannon in court as a federal magistrate ruled on his detention hearing.
Judge Koenig said the prosecution and defense could not have drawn two more different pictures of the same man. She said the government presented him as unstable, while the defense showed him as a public servant. After delaying the decision Monday to take more time to review the case, Koenig ruled to release Bohannon on bond. She stated the fact that he did not have a criminal record, has been married for 29 years, and lived in the same house in Levelland for the last 23 years as reasons she believes he is not a flight risk.
The ruling pleased Bohannon's family. "I think everyone was pleased that the magistrate took the time to thoroughly review the prosecution's case, even to the point of listening to their audio tapes of Gordon Bohannon, and her ruling was that Gordon Bohannon should be released pending trial," said family spokesperson, Randy Hamilton.
If U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings rules in Bohannon's favor during the appeal, there are still several restrictions on him including a travel restriction prohibiting him to enter Hockley County. He must stay with a third party in North Texas, but outside of Hockley County. The judge suggested Wichita Falls because he has several family members there. He must also avoid any contact with potential witnesses and-co defendants, submit to medical psychological treatment, refrain from alcohol or any sort of substance use, and submit to testing to make sure he complies. Bohannon could only leave the third party's home for worship services, work, meetings with his lawyer, or other times pre-approved by the court.
Koenig made it clear her ruling does not determine Bohannon innocent or guilty, and was only a detention hearing.
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