Attorneys for former South Panola football coach Eldridge D. "Bubba" Bonds have issued a response to the state’s motion to reconsider 12 counts dismissed by the court.
The twelve counts were dismissed because the statute of limitations for such charges has already expired.
District Attorney Robert Kelly’s motion cites the case of Morris vs State as determining that a statute of limitations does not expire prior to the termination of a continuing course of conduct.
"The sexual abuse of children has been a continuing course of conduct," the state’s motion says. "The statute of limitations does not begin to run until such course of conduct terminates."
The motion to reconsider the dismissed charges alleges Bonds has a known appetite and proclivity for children/students began during the fall semester of 1997 and hopefully terminated in Jan. 2002.
"The facts, as alleged in all counts of the indictment, were not known to law enforcement or prosecutor until Grand Jury Testimony in June 2002," the motion says.
In response to the motion filed by Bonds’ attorney, Kent Smith of Holly Springs, Smith claims the facts are clearly distinguishable from the facts and holding of Morris vs State.
"…but nothing herein contained shall bar any prosecution against any person who shall abscond or flee from justice, or shall absent himself from this state or out of the jurisdiction of the court, or so conduct himself that he cannot be found by the officers of the law, or that process cannot be served upon him."
In the case of Morris vs State, the minor victim was residing with the defendant, her stepfather. Additionally, the defendant threatened to kill the victim’s father if she told anyone.
Smith’s response said, unlike in Morris, the alleged victims in the dismissed counts against Bonds were at no time living with him.
"The threatening environment that was present in Morris vs State is lacking in the situation at hand," the response said.
Smith was unavailable for comment.