Bullitt Circuit Court judge orders investigation of officials over release of convicted felon
SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Bullitt Circuit Court judge on Friday ordered the Commonwealth's Attorney to investigate why officials let a convicted felon go last week without any conditions, despite the judge's order to put the defendant on home incarceration.
Judge Rodney Burress angrily implied that Bullitt County Attorney Monica Robinson or another official may have committed obstruction of justice or another crime by refusing to put the defendant, Misty Thompson, on home incarceration because the defendant had not paid the necessary fees and administrative costs.
"No one in this county has the authority to supersede a circuit court order, period," Burress told Robinson, while Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Mann and Thompson's attorneys looked on. "So yesterday, a person convicted of three felony cases … was released without a court order."
At one point, when Robinson asked if she could respond, Burress cut her off, "No, not a word."
Burress swore in a sheriff's deputy and asked him if Thompson was placed on home incarceration as the judge had ordered on Thursday.
"No," the deputy responded.
"What happened to her?" Burress asked.
"She was released," the deputy said, adding that he didn't know on whose order.
Burress ordered the sheriff's department to find Thompson and have the jailer put her on home incarceration and told Mann to investigate why she was released and provide him a report.
"I don't know if it's facilitation to escape, I don't know if it's obstruction of justice," Burress said of potential charges for letting Thompson go. "I don't know what the charge is but no one that I've heard thus far had any authority to tell anybody not to follow a circuit judge's order in this county, period."
Robinson declined to comment on Monday.
On Friday, Robinson told Burress she never had an intent to circumvent the judge's order but that she didn't have the authority to spend the county's money to place someone on home incarceration without them paying fees.
She said Thompson was denied home incarceration because rules put into place by county officials require a defendant to pay all or part of the fees and administrative costs associated with the equipment.
Thompson was indigent and could not pay the $20 a day fee.
Burress asked if Bullitt County is denying indigent people home incarceration.
Robinson said the county can provide the equipment for defendants who can't afford it as long as it is cleared ahead of time, but that the county was losing money on the program without adding the fees.
"The county is not a profit making business," Burress responded.
He set a Nov. 1 court date.
Attorneys for Thompson, who has numerous charges and convictions involving fraud, theft and forgery, did not return phone calls seeking comment Friday or Monday.
Mann was not immediately available for comment on Monday.
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