Former Nashville judge Casey Moreland will stay in jail while he awaits a trial on obstruction of justice charges, a federal judge said Tuesday.
The decision came days after authorities accused Moreland of making a second attempt to throttle their ongoing corruption investigation.
Moreland was first charged with interfering in that investigation last March, when investigators say he bribed a woman who had made allegations against him.
His trial was set for June 2018, but he was allowed to stay at home in the meantime, wearing an ankle monitor. The terms of his release forbid him from talking to any potential witnesses in the case against him.
Then, on Thursday, the FBI released a stunning new criminal complaint that included new allegations that Moreland had tampered with a witness as recently as Feb. 13.
The complaint said he worked with a woman, identified as "CS-1," to siphon thousands of dollars away from the Davidson County Drug Court Foundation over the course of years. After the FBI launched its investigation, the complaint said, Moreland asked her to destroy evidence of the crime.
This year, Moreland suggested ways the accomplice — who was working with the FBI — could lie to a grand jury investigating the theft, according to the complaint. Prosecutors worked with the woman to tape several conversations with Moreland.
At a hearing on the new charges, Moreland's defense attorney argued that U.S. Magistrate Judge Joe Brown could allow Moreland to remain free on bail with stricter rules
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cecil W. VanDevender balked.
"You only get so many chances to have the benefit of the doubt," he said.
Brown ultimately sided with prosecutors, although he left the door open to reconsider of Moreland's mental health deteriorates. Moreland's wife testified that he had battled depression and had been forgetful in recent months, possibly showing signs of Alzheimer's Disease.
"You can always ask for a reconsideration," Brown said. "It still remains a very close case, it's just that I came down on the other side this time."
Moreland is being held in Grayson County Detention Center in Kentucky. He came to court Tuesday in a teal jumpsuit with his legs in shackles and his hands cuffed behind his back.
Moreland's attorney Peter Strianse said Brown's decision was disappointing if predictable. But he used Tuesday's hearing, which ran about three hours, to lay out the framework of a legal theory against the theft allegations in the latest criminal complaint.
Authorities say "CS-1" and Moreland pocketed thousands of dollars in payments from patients the foundation's treatment center.
Strianse said federal authorities do not have jurisdiction to prosecute theft from the foundation.
"That money is in no way federal money," Strianse said. "There is no federal ownership of that money."
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