JACKSON, Miss. (WALA) - District Attorney Tony Lawrence requested the longtime sheriff’s bond be revoked, alleging that Mike Byrd was intimidating witnesses who testified before the grand jury that indicted him.
“Everything we’re focusing on right now has been this motion to revoke bond,” said defense attorney Joe Sam Owens. “Obviously, the State and I are diametrically opposed.”
The four term sheriff was granted a $31,000 bond in August after he was arrested on a 31-count indictment.
In total, Byrd is charged with 29 felonies and two misdemeanors ranging from fraud and embezzlement, to perjury and extortion.
In regards to the bond revocation, Byrd’s attorney said it’s not what it looks like.
“It wasn’t for the reason that the State has suggested,” said Joe Sam Owens. “He was trying to attain information about the case.”
Some of Byrd’s charges stem from surveillance teams that he allegedly ordered out of retaliation.
Other charges allege Byrd was extorting sexual favors from at least one female deputy.
Byrd is even accused of forcing a detective to sign a criminal affidavit against a man in a murder investigation in 2007, even though the detective did not believe the man committed the crime.
A judge continued the bond revocation hearing because the State wanted to file an amended version of its motion.
Byrd’s trial is expected in March.
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