Sunday, February 23, 2014

Officer Mark Ridley Jr Released on Bond

A Muskogee police officer who is facing several felony charges was released from jail Friday after a $50,000 bond was set.

Mark Vernon Ridley Jr., 39, of Oktaha had been held without bond in the Muskogee County/City Detention Facility since his arrest last month.

Ridley was arrested after he allegedly crashed his truck into his wife’s car and kidnapped her at gunpoint.

On Jan. 31, he was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, forcible sodomy and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony.

Ridley was placed on paid administrative leave in December after allegations of assault, abuse, stalking and harassment surfaced.

Muskogee County District Attorney Larry Moore said Ridley had tried to commit suicide while in custody at the jail.

Larry Langley, special district judge for Sequoyah County District Court, set Ridley’s bond at $50,000 and ordered Ridley to be under 24-hour supervision with the understanding that the person providing supervision will insure that Ridley takes his prescribed medication. The judge also ruled that Ridley could not have access to firearms and was ordered to not have contact with his wife or witnesses in the case.

Langley was assigned to the case after Muskogee County’s Special District Judge Robin Adair recused himself.

In requesting a reduction in bond Friday, defense attorney Donn Baker told the judge that Ridley was unstable initially, but no longer poses a risk.

Baker said a Feb. 17 letter from a nurse practitioner at a local health facility who had evaluated Ridley proved “he is much more stable and doing a lot better.” Ridley was “not in danger to himself or anyone else,” Baker said.

In the Feb. 17 letter, Michael S. Smith, a Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP) and Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) with Muskogee Family Care, states, “Though he was quite unstable, and even suicidal, initially upon his entry into the jail, he has now become much more stable and, in my opinion, does not represent any danger to himself or others.”

The letter continues, “Additionally, I have discussed his case with the mental health provider from Green Country Behavioral Health, who interviewed Officer Ridley, who likewise believes that he does not represent any threat to himself.”

Ridley’s father and other individuals were willing to provide 24-hour supervision if Ridley was free on bond, Baker said.

The office of Eddie Wyant, district attorney for Delaware and Ottawa counties, was named to prosecute the case after Muskogee County District Moore recused himself.

Jennifer Ellis, an assistant district attorney in Ottawa County, said the state objected to the bond for Ridley.

“Our position is one of safety” for Ridley and Ridley’s wife, she said.

If Ridley was released on bond, then the only benefit would be a “reactive situation” if Ridley violated the conditions of bond and that Ridley could harm himself or others.

“We feel the risk is just too high,” she said.

She added that the state believes that Ridley should remain incarcerated in jail or be placed in a mental health facility until the preliminary hearing.

A status hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Feb. 28, and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 9 a.m. May 16. At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, a judge will determine if Ridley should stand trial.

Previous Post

Former Officer David Banks Charged with Sexual Misconduct with Child

A former Unionville Police officer was charged with sexual misconduct involving a child after Kirksville Police received and investigated claims he was exchanging inappropriate text messages with a juvenile.
David Banks, 25, was arrested at a residence in Stewartsville after being terminated from the Unionville Police Department over allegations of sexual misconduct.
According to the Kirksville Police Department, the suspect had been exchanging sexual explicit text messages and had sent at least one image to a 14-year-old female in Unionville. KPD began its investigation Thursday.
Following his termination with the police department Thursday, Banks is alleged to have left Unionville and was located at a residence in DeKalb County, where a search warrant was executed for his arrest early Friday morning.
Banks was being held in the Daviess/Dekalb Regional Jail as of Friday morning on a $10,000 cash-only bond. He was charged with the class D felony of sexual misconduct involving a child.
The investigation is ongoing and other charges are pending, according to KPD.

Officer Shawn Allen Charged with Fraud

A Region 8 police officer was charged with both fraud and possession after he was arrested Friday morning.

According to police, Walnut Ridge police officer Shawn Allen was charged with fraud after abusing drug prescriptions. He was also charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Allen was released on bond and has a scheduled court date.

Sgt. Kevin Simmons Charged with Soliciting Prostitution

A Baltimore City police sergeant was among four people arrested Wednesday night in a vice sting in Baltimore County.

County police said the men solicited prostitution and offered money to undercover detectives.

Sgt. Kevin Simmons, 40, is among those charged. The other three men were identified as Edward Yuditsky, 42, of Timonium; Trevor William Joseph Barnes, 44, of Mount Airy; and Mark Kane, 48, of Eldersburg.

The four men taken into custody were charged with two counts of prostitution. All except Kane, who also faces drug charges, were released on their own recognizance. Kane was held at the Baltimore County Detention Center on $5,000 bail.

Simmons has been assigned to the Neighborhood Patrol Bureau in the Western District. He has been with the department since January 1996.

Officer Ernesto Fierro Indicted in Texas Death

An officer has been indicted on criminal charges in connection with an Iowan's death in Texas.

Officer Ernesto Fierro turned himself in to authorities at 5 p.m. Thursday.

A grand jury found Fierro did "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly threaten William Livezey, Jr. with imminent bodily injury by causing the vehicle driven by said defendant to drive toward William Livezey, Jr., and did then use or exhibit a deadly weapon..."

The grand jury also found Fierro subjected Livezey "to an arrest that the defendant knew was unlawful."

He is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, official oppression and three counts of reckless driving. Fierro was released on $85,000 bond.

Iowan Bill Livezey was pulled over by Fierro on Dec. 11 who was off-duty at the time.

Authorities said witnesses told them Fierro was trying to run Livezey off the road.

The Navarro County Sheriff's Office told KCCI when their deputies arrived, Livezey said he was feeling ill and suffered a heart attack. Deputies took the handcuffs off and started CPR.

An ambulance transported Livezey to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
KTVT-TV reported that the Livezey family has hired an attorney to pursue the case