A motion has been filed by Sheriff Robert Arnold's attorney to release him from the Grayson County Detention Center in Leitchfield, Kentucky.
It claims that the sheriff's abnormal behavior was brought on by a mixture of alcohol and Ambien. It further states that the alleged witness tampering was unintentional, since it occured after Robert Arnold took Ambien. (Note: Ambien is a sedative that is often used to treat insomnia.)
Concerning the domestic allegations, the motion claims that his wife's description of the incident has changed several times, and that there is no physical evidence of domestic assault.
The newly filed motion must go before Chief District Judge Kevin H. Sharp, who serves the Middle District of Tennessee from the Federal Courthouse in Nashville.
However, it was a six-hour federal hearing on September 27, 2016, before US Magistrate Judge Alistair Newbern in that same courthouse, that resulted in the judge ruling that Sheriff Arnold did violate his bond conditions.
Judge Newbern's earlier ruling was reportedly based on statements that the sheriff's wife made to investigators (copy of federal document at bottom of this story).
In announcing the bond revocation last month, Judge Newbern said there was "sufficient evidence" that Robert Arnold intentionally harassed his wife, Megan Arnold, after an alleged assault on Labor Day evening. The judge also noted that she had concerns the sheriff might use his power to intimindate others if he went back to work.
Robert Arnold was then handcuffed and taken away for booking and incarceration in Leitchfield, Kentucky at the Grayson County Detention Center.
While Arnold is incarcerated, Chief Deputy Randy Garrett, second in command, is now in charge of the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office. (NOTE: representatives from the Rutherford County Sheriffs Office will be on WGNS from 8:10 to 9:00AM this coming Wednesday morning, October 19, 2016)
In the meantime, Sheriff Arnold continues to get his paycheck from Rutherford County. The pay will remain in place until Sheriff Arnold resigns or if he is convicted of a felony in a court of law. Of course, Arnold will be facing serious charges in court in 2017 that could lead to a felony conviction. If convicted, Sheriff Arnold will be forced to leave his post.
Sheriff Arnold faces a 14 count federal indictment on February 7, 2017 in Nashville. The 14-count indictment surrounding the investigation into JailCigs, charges Arnold, Joe Russell (Chief Deputy of Administration at the Sheriff's Office) and John Vanderveer (Arnolds uncle) with honest services fraud; mail fraud; wire fraud; bribery concerning federal programs; extortion under color of official right; obstruction of justice; and conspiracy.
Arnold faces up to 95 years in a federal prison, if he is convicted:
- Conspiracy - 5 Years
- Wire Fraud - 20 Years
- Honest Services Fraud - 20 Years
- Bribery Concerning Federal Programs - 10 Years
- Violation of the Hobbs Act, Extortion Under Color of Official Right - 20 Years
- Attempt to Tamper with a Witness - 20 Years
The actual statement involving the reported events on September 5, 2016:
"On September 20, 2016, the defendant's wife, Megan Arnold, met with a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) special agent. During the meeting, Mrs. Arnold reviewed a statement prepared by the TBI, based on her previous conversations with the agent, which indicated the defendant had physically abused her. Although Mrs. Arnold acknowledged that the statement was accurate, she declined to sign it. Reportedly, on September 5, 2016, the family visited a friend's residence for a social gathering, where the defendant consumed alcoholic beverages. Upon returning home, the defendant continued to consume alcohol and an Ambien sleeping pill. Mrs. Arnold related that she became intimate with the defendant as a way to make him go to bed because he gets angry easily when he has been drinking. Due to the defendant's intoxicated state, Mrs. Arnold stated that she discontinued her interaction with the defendant, and he went to their bedroom to be alone. Mrs. Arnold attempted to go into their bedroom, but the defendant attempted to push the door closed while she attempted to push the door open. After a period of time, Mrs. Arnold reached through the door opening, twisted the defendant's nipple, and he released the door. Consequently, the defendant pushed Mrs. Arnold to the floor and punched her in her right arm near her shoulder. Mrs. Arnold kicked the defendant, and a struggle ensued. During the struggle, the defendant grabbed a belt and wrapped it around Mrs. Arnold in an attempt to drag her out of the room without leaving marks on her body. Mrs. Arnold slipped out of the belt, and the defendant pinned her on the bed with his body. Mrs. Arnold related the defendant said if he were to place all of his body weight on her that she would stop breathing. Eventually, the defendant got up and Mrs. Arnold went to another part of the house.
In a recorded conversation between Mrs. Arnold and a third party, Mrs. Arnold stated that she wanted to make a statement to the police, but she is scared of the defendant. She advised the party on the telephone that the defendant shoved her down and punched her in the arm. She added that the defendant wrapped a belt around her in an effort to not physically touch her and leave marks on her body. Mrs. Arnold indicated the defendant also hit her on the leg with the belt."
Court records also showed, "She fears for her safety and that of her children. And Arnold has warned her that she "would lose the house and everything [she has] ever had" if he goes to jail. In addition, she has expressed concern that, even if she comes forward, Arnold would not ultimately be sent to jail."