DA seeks to revoke Sheriff Mike Byrd’s bond for contacting witnesses

Jackson County District Attorney Tony Lawrence wants Sheriff Mike Byrd cited for contempt of court and his bond revoked for contacting and intimidating witnesses who testified against him in his criminal case, records show.

In a motion filed Tuesday, Lawrence said Byrd violated the conditions of his bond on 31 criminal charges when he contacted deputies to ask them about their grand jury testimony.

The questioning, Lawrence said, was done “in such a manner as to place pressure on … witnesses to testify falsely.”

“The state would show the sheriff is using his position as sheriff and supervisor of witnesses to compel them to talk about their testimony and has used direct and subtle intimidation on … witnesses,” Lawrence wrote. “The sheriff is engaging in conduct which appears to be attempting to manipulate witness testimony and harass … witnesses.

Sun Herald