Former Clay County Sheriff Jeffery C. Lyde has been convicted of “official oppression” for holding detainees without probable cause and making a series of shady moves to cover up his actions.
A Leaked Name
Jeffery C. Lyde served as the sheriff of Clay County, a rural region in North Texas. He found himself in legal trouble in November 2021 when his name appeared on a leaked roster of the Oath Keepers, a controversial anti-government militia group.
On the same day this information came to light, Lyde was arrested and booked into his own jail.
His arrest was linked to allegations of misusing his official powers, specifically regarding the prolonged detention of two individuals “without a finding of probable cause.”
The jury trial was recently concluded and it was disclosed that a local couple, Landon Goad and Sarah Johnson, had been arrested in July 2021 due to a domestic disturbance and were subsequently booked into Clay County’s jail.
24 to 48 Hours
Under Texas law, the couple should have been seen by a magistrate judge within 24 hours to assess the evidence of probable cause for their arrest.
Federal courts have established that this due process must occur within a maximum of 48 hours.
No Probable Cause
However, Goad and Johnson did not receive a judicial review until 46 hours had passed. At that point, a local justice of the peace determined that there was no probable cause to detain them.
Defying the Law
After the local justice of the peace said the couple should have been released immediately, Lyde chose to keep them in custody. This unfortunate move defied both the law and the Constitution.
An Unfortunate Incident
Johnson was detained for an extended period and grew more restless. Finally, she attempted to hang herself with a shower curtain while on suicide watch. After a brief hospitalization, she returned to jail.
A Secret Plan
A federal lawsuit filed by the couple against Lyde claimed that Johnson had faked the suicide attempt to make a call to her family from the emergency room.
The couple’s lawsuit against Lyde sought punitive damages, stating that Lyde had “malice, evil intent or reckless or callous indifference” and disregarded their “constitutionally protected rights.”
After being held for nearly 70 hours, Lyde transferred the couple’s case to a different judge, presenting paperwork that falsely claimed that the couple had been incarcerated for less than two days.
The new judge approved a finding of probable cause for Lyde, and Goad and Johnson were finally released after paying bonds of $1,500 each.
As the situation unfolded, Lyde disregarded instructions from the local district attorney, who had learned of the unlawful detainments and urged the sheriff to release the couple.
In a recorded conversation with a Texas Ranger, Lyde said the original justice on the case was “going to bat for a couple of f****** meth heads.”
Another Cover Up
When prosecutors subpoenaed the original notarized finding of no probable cause, Lyde concealed the document in his office at the sheriff’s department.
Verdict and Consequences
After a five-day trial, Lyde was convicted of “official oppression” and “tampering with a government record,” both Class A misdemeanors. Each charge carries a potential punishment of up to one year in prison, and his sentencing is scheduled for October.
Above the Law
The prosecutor, Staley Heatly, said this verdict shows “No man is above the law, and no man below it.” The Constitution applies equally to all. If the conviction is upheld through appeal, Lyde will permanently lose his peace officer license.
A Long Rap Sheet
It is also worth noting that Lyde was already suspended from his position as sheriff in February due to unrelated allegations of sexual harassment involving department employees.
Trump Cannot Run for President According to New Study – Here Are the Reasons For His Disqualification
A new study analyzes whether Donald Trump has the right to run for president for the second time. Here’s the full story. Trump Cannot Run for President According to New Study – Here Are the Reasons For His Disqualification
Raise Retirement Age, Demands Nikki Haley – Try Telling That to Those Who Have Paid In, Say the Critics
Republican presidential candidate, Nikki Haley, says the retirement age in America needs to be raised in order to get control of the country’s debt. Here’s the full story. Raise Retirement Age, Demands Nikki Haley – Try Telling That to Those Who Have Paid In, Say the Critics
Not Again! President Biden’s Verbal Gaffe Sparks Laughter and Criticism as Opponents Continue to Question His Ability in Office
During a speech about NATO in Lithuania, President Joe Biden stumbled over his words, causing a brief moment of laughter and drawing criticism from many. Here’s what happened. Not Again! President Biden’s Verbal Gaffe Sparks Laughter and Criticism as Opponents Continue to Question His Ability in Office
Russia’s Former General Dies in Unexpected Plane Crash and Ukraine Gains Momentum on Regaining Control
After Russia continues its 16-month-long invasion of Ukraine, a surge of political upheaval has unfolded in Moscow, coinciding with Kyiv’s efforts to regain control of its territories. Russia’s Former General Dies in Unexpected Plane Crash and Ukraine Gains Momentum on Regaining Control
Record-Breaking Migrant Numbers, Yet White House Insists Biden Has “Done More Than Anybody” to Secure the Southern Border – Critics Aren’t Holding Back
The number of illegal immigrants crossing the United States at the southern border is higher than ever. Despite the record-breaking numbers, Biden’s press secretary said he has done more than anyone else to secure the country’s borders. Here’s the full story. Record-Breaking Migrant Numbers, Yet White House Insists Biden Has “Done More Than Anybody” to Secure the Southern Border – Critics Aren’t Holding Back
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / breakermaximus. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.