Arrested deputy says Sheriff Kinney led him astray - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/25/10

Arrested deputy says Sheriff Kinney led him astray

LEVELLAND, TX (KCBD) -

By Christy Moreland  - bio | email 

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -  Shocking new details emerge Thursday from a courtroom in Levelland as the former Hockley County Chief Deputy Gordon Bohannon testifies against his onetime boss.

Bohannon took the witness stand Thursday afternoon in the trial to remove Sheriff David Kinney from office.

Bohannon was one of two deputies arrested by federal agents in the massive July 10, 2009 drug bust. Both men admitted to helping Bobby Froman run a methamphetamine drug ring. Bohannon pleaded guilty to felony drug charges, and he will appear in federal court for sentencing April 2nd.

Thursday, he told the court that Sheriff Kinney is responsible for sending him to federal prison. That's not the only allegation that came out during his testimony.

Bohannon admits that he was friends with convicted felon and meth ring leader, Bobby Froman. He says the suspended sheriff knew all about it. Bohannon told the court that he was Kinney's "scapegoat" and expected Kinney to have his back. He said the sheriff was aware of what was going on, but he did nothing to stop Bohannon. In fact, Bohannon says Kinney "pushed" him to keep working with Froman and do what he had to do to get more information and closer to the drug dealers.

Bohannon says Kinney was upset the Hockley County District Attorney's Office received a government grant that pays for a narcotics investigator and the sheriff's department did not. So Kinney wanted to get results, have more drug busts and "outshine other departments."

Bohannon told the court he felt Kinney "led him astray" and regretted that he let Kinney use him the way he did. Defense Attorney Rod Hobson argued Bohannon should be responsible for his own actions.

Hobson also referred to a stand-off several years ago in Levelland where Bohannon shot and killed a suspect who was about to shoot Kinney. Hobson asked Bohannon if he now regretted saving Kinney's life. After several long pauses and moments of silence, Bohannon responded, "Yes, I do."

At one point during testimony Bohannon began to cry. During cross-examination when asked why he was crying, he said he looked at his family sitting in the courtroom and was crying because of everything he has put his wife and daughter through.

The trial and Bohannon's testimony will continue Friday morning.

©2010 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved.

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