published Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Hamilton County District Attorney wants Lonnie R. Hood case reinstated on docket

The Hamilton County District Attorney's office is objecting to dismissal of two charges against Lonnie R. Hood, who served court-ordered community service on a construction project in the sheriff's annex.

Assistant District Attorney Steve Smith filed a motion on April 30 to reinstate Hood's case on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest to the trial docket.

"The state would show that the defendant did not complete community service as agreed," Smith wrote.

A hearing is scheduled for May 14.

Gary Henry, Hood's attorney, said Friday, "The objection and motion has no basis in law or fact and we will make a fuller and more appropriate response in the course of the court proceedings."

Hood, a friend of Sheriff Jim Hammond, is a former deputy who pleaded guilty in 1998 to conspiracy to possess and distribute steroids, extortion, money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the United States of income tax, tampering with a witness and obstruction of justice. He was sentenced to 51/2 years in prison.

On Dec. 31, 2011, a Chattanooga police officer arrested Hood after a traffic incident. When Hood arrived at the jail after his arrest, he received a message to call Hammond.

Hammond also made a call that night on behalf of Hood to Magistrate Sharetta Smith, whose duty is to set bonds. Hammond said he asked Smith if Hood would be released on his own recognizance, not if he could be released. Hammond has said he was gathering information for Hood's wife.

Smith set two bonds for Hood, one for $500 and another for $1,500.

General Sessions Judge Clarence Shattuck issued an order on March 13 for the charges against Hood to be dismissed once he completed seven days of community service "under the direction and supervision of the Hamilton County Courts Community Service Program."

After the order was issued, a sheriff's office official contacted the community service program coordinator and asked if Hood could work construction on a project in the annex.

Chief Deputy Allen Branum said Hood's work saved the county at least $1,000.

Hood worked seven days in March, the report showed. The community service program then filed a "completed offender record" in Hood's case file.

Henry said last week that his client did not ask for the sheriff's assistance.

Hammond last week stood by his actions, saying he did nothing criminal and would do the same for others. Hammond said he never talked to the judge in the matter.

Contact Ansley Haman at ahaman@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6481.

about Ansley Haman...

Ansley Haman covers Hamilton County government. A native of Spring City, Tenn., she grew up reading the Chattanooga Times and Chattanooga Free Press, which sparked her passion for journalism. Ansley's happy to be home after a decade of adventures in more than 20 countries and 40 states. She gathered stories while living, working and studying in Swansea, Wales, Cape Town, South Africa, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn. Along the way, she interned for ...

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