Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Accusations of threats go unproven

By Jason C. Mattox

The Panola County Sheriff’s Department has questioned and released a man who allegedly made threats against county prosecutor C. Gaines Baker and Justice Court Judge Bill Joiner after last Tuesday’s justice court session in Batesville. The man had been found guilty of stalking and malicious mischief.

According to Chief Deputy Otis Griffin of the Panola County Sheriff’s Office, a counselor from an area psychiatric hospital who had worked with the man phoned the sheriff’s office to relay threats against Baker and Joiner. The hospital had been contacted by the father of the man.

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“When it comes to these kinds of threats, we always take them seriously, especially when you hear the threats have been made against elected officials,” Griffin said.

Griffin said the suspect was brought to the David M. Bryan Justice Complex for questioning Tuesday afternoon.

“Once we got him here, everyone worked hard to get the story straight,” he said. “The story was crossed up. We couldn’t hold him because nobody could say they heard him make the threats.”
The suspect has been released from jail.