By Tiffany Pelt - email
LEVELLAND, TX (KCBD) - A Hockley County jury decides David Kinney will not be reinstated as sheriff. The jury deliberated three hours before deciding that Kinney was grossly incompetent in running the Hockley County Sheriff's Department.
Kinney was suspended last year after two of his deputies, Gordon Bohannon and Jesse Quintanilla, were indicted for their role in a Levelland drug bust last July.
In Thursday morning's closing arguments with a full courtroom, the attorney representing Hockley County told the jury that Kinney was incompetent, saying he failed to supervise his deputies and that much of what has happened under Kinney's supervision could have been prevented.
When Kinney's attorney Rod Hobson took the floor, he asked the question, if Kinney is incompetent, why not let the voters decide in the next election. He then called the entire situation a conspiracy to remove Kinney because he said Interim Sheriff Kevin Davis was interested in being sheriff since 2004.
Kinney says he was also fighting to clear his name. "He wanted his side of the story told and he got to tell it. He's disappointed obviously in the verdict but you know Dave Kinney is all about Hockley County. He wishes Kevin Davis the best," says Hobson, speaking on behalf of Kinney after the verdict.
The jury was presented with 24 detailed questions on whether Kinney was grossly incompetent or if there was misconduct in the sheriff's department under him. If jurors answered yes to any question, Kinney would be permanently removed from office.
They said there was no official misconduct, but the jury answered yes to some of the questions concerning Kinney's incompetence. Including one that stated Kinney promoted Gordon Bohannon to Chief Deputy knowing Bohannon and drug ring leader Bobby Froman had a relationship.
Kinney will not be getting his job back but is still eligible to run for sheriff in the next election. "He is going back tonight to be the night watchman in Anton and do what he can for the citizens of Hockley county as he's done for the last 25 years," said Hobson.
Bohannon will be sentenced Friday morning for his involvement in the Meth bust.
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