Ricky Middleton of Mt. Judea, Arkansas was released in December 2008 on a signature bond of $3,500 for a felony charge of theft by receiving.
Ricky Middleton appeared in front of court again on Wednesday March 10, 2010 for arraignment on new and recent charges of theft by receiving, altering vehicle identification numbers, both felonies, and a misdemeanor charge of possession of a vehicle without identification numbers.
Ricky Middleton plead not guilty and Judge Putman accepted his not guilty plea.
Attorney Justin Hurst
Hot Springs Attorney Justin Hurst appeared with Ricky Middleton on Wednesday, but Hurst said the new charges were a surprise to him because he was only retained to represent Middleton on the 2008 case. Ricky Middleton then told Judge Putman that he didn’t have a lawyer for the new charges, so the case would have to be continued until he hired a lawyer for that case.
Prosecuting Attorney Ron Kincade
Prosecuting Attorney Ron Kincade said that Ricky Middleton had the financial means to hire an attorney and could have had one with him Wednesday, so he asked that any time until his next appearance be excluded from speedy trial requirements.
Judge John Putman
But Judge Putman said there was another matter that needed to be addressed. Judge Putman stated that he had been presented with the arrest affidavit in the new case, which showed a likelihood that Middleton had committed a felony while free on bond awaiting trial in the older case, so Judge Putman revoked the signature bond Middleton posted in December 2008 and ordered that Ricky Middleton be taken into custody.
As Ricky Middleton was being handcuffed, Ricky asked if he could talk to Judge Putman, but the request was denied. Ricky Middleton was led from the courtroom to meet with Attorney Hurst on the new charges.
When they returned, Hurst asked if Judge Putman would hear arguments on the bond revocation. Judge Putman said a defendant has the right to a bond, so he agreed.
Hurst said the new charges against Ricky Middleton were based on old searches of his property at Mt. Judea, so his bond should stand without new allegations. But deputy prosecutor Wes Bradford said the new charges are actually based on a search from November 2009, well past the 2008 case.
Attorney Hurst said Ricky Middleton had posted a $1 million bail through a professional bondsman in another case and that the bondsman had agreed to stay on the bond. He said Ricky Middleton wasn’t a flight risk due to the sheer amount of money posted for bail.
Judge Putman said that, that massive bond was in another case before another judge.
Prosecutor Kincade said the state plans to file other charges against Middleton, which could also include a motion to revoke the $1 million bond posted earlier.
Judge Putman said he would advise the lawyers of his decision on bond revocation in the 2008 case sometime later that day.
According to officials Ricky Middleton was being held for Newton County in the Boone County Jail on Wednesday evening.
On Thursday March 11, 2010, Judge Putman came to a decision on the new charges and he sat a new bond at $25,000. Judge Putman said he set the new bond for Middleton because a defendant has the right to have a bond amount set, with the exception of capital offense. He said he set the bond fairly high at $25,000 partly because in all likelihood Ricky Middleton had committed another felony while he was free on bond and awaiting trial.
Boone County Court House
Jail records show Ricky Middleton posted bond and was released from the Boone County Jail once again, where he was being held for Newton County, just a little before 7 p.m. on Thursday March 11, 2010.