February 22, 2018 11:23:17 AM
A man accused of attempted kidnapping has had his bond reinstated, but with some extra conditions.
John B. Arnold, 45, appeared before Oktibbeha County Justice Court District 3 Judge Marty Haug Wednesday for a hearing on his bond, which was revoked on Tuesday.
Arnold was arrested Friday for attempted kidnapping after he reportedly tried to check a student out from Sudduth Elementary School without consent of the student's mother, according to an affidavit. Haug set Arnold's bond at $100,000, and on the affidavit setting the bond, wrote that Arnold was to have "no contact with the victim or family at all."
Arnold was released from Oktibbeha County Jail on bond before being returned on Tuesday for violating his bond terms.
Starkville Police Department detective John Michael Lay said during Wednesday's hearing that he explained the terms of Arnold's bond to him. During that conversation, he said, Arnold asked if he could contact Harold Clark, the stepfather of the victim's mother. He said he told Arnold that he could not do that.
On Tuesday, Clark reported to an investigator that Arnold had attempted to call him, and Arnold was booked in jail again.
Wednesday, Haug reinstated Arnold's bond as it was so he won't have to pay for bail again, but added several conditions to it.
Arnold is forbidden from having weapons of any kind while on bond; is forbidden from consuming drugs or alcohol; waives extradition if he leaves the state of Mississippi; will wear an ankle bracelet with a GPS monitor; is forbidden from making contact with the victim or his family, or from going within 500 feet of their home or school; and cannot leave the city of Starkville without authorization from the court.
Charles Yoste, an attorney representing Arnold, argued that because Clark didn't answer the phone, the attempt to contact him didn't necessarily represent a bond violation. He also said he didn't know Arnold violated the terms of his bond until he was arrested.
"Five police officers came into my office (Tuesday) and took him from my office," Yoste said.
After setting the new bond conditions, Haug was blunt in his view on that matter.
"I don't care if they pick up the phone," Haug said. "If you call them, you will go to jail and stay there until this case is done. If someone else calls from your phone, you're the one that's in trouble, so be careful with your phone."
During the hearing Lay said he had statements from both of the victim's parents saying they did not know Arnold was attempting to check the child out from school and had not given him permission to do so. He also said Arnold went to Starkville Academy before Sudduth, but was escorted from the school premises.
Lay noted that several people in the community are "scared" of Arnold, who he said can be "overly aggressive and armed and dangerous at times."
He also added that SPD believed Arnold should remain in jail because he was a potential flight risk, with access to a substantial amount of money. He further said that he's not sure that Arnold has any connections, such as family, to the community.
Yoste said Arnold has business in the community through some properties he owns.
1. CMSD combats 'gang' activity on school campuses COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
2. St. Joseph parishioners start petition to block priest reassignment STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
3. A Night of Holiday Hope: Community Outreach Office plans Christmas party for 100 needy children COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. As anchor tenants depart, a Starkville shopping center sees opportunity STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY