A $500,000 bond was set at a hearing last week to prevent the defendant from fleeing the county again, according to observations in court.
Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler set the bond for John E. Lynch, 47, formerly of Beard Lane. Lynch was named in a three-count indictment by the grand jury in February 2008.
He's been at-large - having jumped bond, for nearly two years, court and jail records show.
Lynch was charged with driving after having been declared a habitual motor vehicle offender, driving under the influence, and violation of the implied consent law. The arrest was made on Dec. 22, 2007, by Lewisburg Police Sgt. Anthony McLean after Lynch failed to stop at a stop sign on Belfast Avenue.
Lynch was out on bond, and failed to appear for a court date on July 9, 2008. His jury trial was set for Aug. 4, 2008, but he did not appear on that day either.
The next month, Marshall County was notified that Lynch was in Monroe County Jail, Key West, Fla. after being arrested on Sept. 6 on DUI "and other charges." The Florida authorities promised to notify officials here when Lynch was ready for extradition and he arrived in Marshall County on June 28, 2010.
Lynch's criminal record fills three pages of his case file. The DUI for which he was indicted in 2008 was his 11th in Tennessee, starting in 1993. He was declared an habitual motor vehicle offender (HMVO) in 1996, and has three prior convictions for violating that order.
Crigler takes a serious view of lateness in his courtroom. He revoked a woman's bond on Wednesday because she arrived late. Defendant Jessica Prince spent several hours in handcuffs, ready to be transported to jail, before the judge relented and re-instated her bond. Prince was also in trouble for not paying her fee to the Public Defender's Office. Family members paid the fee and brought a receipt to prove it, and Crigler accepted Prince's excuse that the person who was giving her a ride to Lewisburg was late picking her up. Her bond was re-instated and the handcuffs removed, with a strict warning that she might not be so lucky next time. The Public Defender's Office has withdrawn from Prince's case, and local attorney Terry Hernando was appointed to represent her.
Crigler was back in court Thursday for the trial of Gerald Reardon, 43, formerly of Cornersville. After a jury had been seated, Reardon, represented by the Public Defender's Office, decided to make a "best interest" plea of guilty to all the charges against him. These included failure to appear, theft of property, and forgery. Crigler sentenced Reardon to a total of four years in prison. As a "standard" offender, Reardon will have to serve 30 percent of that time, or just over 14 months, before being eligible for parole. He has a pre-trial jail credit of 147 days.