Judge drops restraining order on former sheriff - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/21/10

Judge drops restraining order on former sheriff

By Tiffany Pelt - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - In Hockley County Thursday, a two day hearing wraps up as a judge drops a temporary restraining order against a former area sheriff.

Hockley County Attorney Christopher Dennis and Defense Attorney for former Hockley County Sheriff David Kinney, Rod Hobson, brought witnesses and evidence to the stand in Levelland.

Kinney was suspended as sheriff and a temporary restraining order brought against him after the Levelland methamphetamine drug bust back in July. During the investigation it was discovered that two of Kinney's deputies were involved in the meth ring. Former Chief Deputy Gordon Bohannon and former Deputy Jesse Quintanilla have already pleaded guilty to their involvement.

The restraining order issued by Judge Cherry prohibited Kinney from acting as sheriff, accessing county property and talking to employees of the sheriff's office, and although suspended, there is the possibility Kinney could be reinstated as sheriff. "He's not up for re-election. The sheriff's office for Hockley County is not on the ballot this time and he has a couple years left on his term," said Hobson.

Both Hobson and Dennis were under the impression Judge Cherry had the authority to reinstate Kinney as sheriff, that's why they brought forth so much evidence and had testimonies from witnesses. However, the Judge made it clear this two day hearing was strictly to determine whether or not the restraining order should be dropped. After no objection from either party, Cherry stopped the injunction.

Although the hearing could have been taken care of quickly, both attorneys agree important information and evidence came out the last two days. "I will have look at that new information and the testimony that's been given under oath and evaluate that with a careful eye," said Dennis.

Dennis says there's still much to be done before the trial on March 22nd. "There will be discovery conducted. In this case we've already conducted some discovery. There may be depositions, there may be an appeal from Mr. Hobson about the court ruling today so there's plenty work to be done," said Dennis.

The trial in March will be heard by jury members who will decide if Kinney should be reinstated as the Hockley County Sheriff.

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