A Booneville man was warned by 15th Judicial District Judge Jerry Don Ramey to have no contact with witnesses who may be summonsed to appear in a trial against him set for Feb. 17.
Ramey issued the warning Friday after prosecuting attorney Tom Tatum II said the state is ready to try the case against Daniel Valdez, 41, then added “our only issue is we’ve served subpoenas on a couple witnesses and I was advised yesterday that they’ve been threatened by Mr. Valdez.”
Tatum also added he has not had an opportunity to look into the complaint.
“I just ask that the court remind him not to harass or antagonize the victims until I’ve determined the issues with that, but when they were served with the subpoenas they said they would not honor them,” said Tatum.
“I’m not saying you are or are not doing that,” Ramey said to Valdez. “What I am saying is you are not to have any harmful or negative contact with any witness on the subpoena list.”
Ramey also noted such conduct by a defendant could result in the filing of a Class C felony.
Ramey further said the age of Valdez’s case meant on Feb. 17, “you’re up. I don’t want you to come in the day before and ask for a continuance or wait until the morning of and be here late.”
Valdez is a co-defendant in a case and is charged with residential burglary, two counts of breaking or entering and theft of property for allegedly breaking into a residence and ransacking, entering two outbuildings on the same property and subsequently removing numerous items from the structures.
All are felonies but the most serious of the offenses is the residential burglary charge.
Co-defendant Bonnie Annette Jones, 40, reached a plea agreement in September in which she plead guilty to the residential burglary charge and was sentenced to five years probation with remaining charges dropped.