By John L. Ross, Staff Writer
Former Whitley County Jailer Lloyd E. Davenport’s DUI case was continued again in Whitley County District Court Wednesday.
Davenport was originally arrested May 9, 2010. After several continuances and even an erroneous dismissal, Davenport’s case was scheduled for trial Feb. 6, 2013.
Now his case is slated for trial by jury March 6 — nearly 34 months after the initial arrest.
Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird said this continuance was necessary.
“Due to the officer (Brandon White) having an illness in the family, it was continued at our request,” Bird said.
White arrested Davenport after a traffic stop on Beck’s Creek Road to investigate complaints received about his driving.
“The case has been continued numerous times and the arresting officer has been there every single time until today,” Bird said.
There have been several scheduled trial dates for this case.
Wednesday’s scheduled trial was continued.
Prior to that, the case was scheduled for trial Aug. 8, 2012. However, that trial had to be continued as Commonwealth’s Attorney Allen Trimble’s wife happened to be on the jury panel. At that time, Trimble hoped the case would be scheduled for trial possibly in October 2012, but it was unclear when that would happen.
Before that, Davenport was to appear for a jury trial on April 4, 2012. But after a discussion between Judge Fred White, Davenport’s attorney Jane Butcher and Trimble, the trial was continued.
Prior to that, the scheduled trial date was Dec. 7, 2011, but court records state then-county attorney Don Moses had recused himself from the case. Judge White ordered Davenport’s case dismissed. Court records state evidence had not been received by Davenport’s attorney.
Trimble, who had been named special prosecutor, filed motions which showed that was not correct — and the case was reinstated. Trimble was appointed special prosecutor by the state Attorney General’s Office on the request of Officer White and Bird.
Davenport’s arrest came after 911 dispatchers received reports of a possibly intoxicated driver. Officer White observed Davenport driving slowly and crossing into opposing lanes and stopped him. The officer’s citation states there was “a strong smell” of alcohol and Davenport had “red, glossy, bloodshot eyes.”
Field sobriety tests were also conducted, which the citation states Davenport failed.
The citation also states that Davenport told Officer White “he would blow over the limit” if he took a breathalyzer test, which he refused to do.
Refusal of that test requires an immediate suspension of the violator’s driving privileges during court proceedings — which Bird said did not happen in this case.
Bird also noted that Davenport was booked at 12:23 a.m. the morning after the arrest — and was released on a $2,500 surety bond 34 minutes later.
“I just look forward to getting it over with — it has gone on way too long,” Bird said Wednesday.