Two charged in custody interference case enter pleas
by Staff Report
Aug 31, 2014 | 2120 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Two people charged in a January 2012 interference with custody case entered negotiated pleas last month.

Ty Rutledge and Tiffany Morgan were arrested after Morgan picked up a juvenile relative from school and carried the girl to Rutledge’s home, a violation of a court order in place at that time.

When Bartow County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived at Rutledge’s residence, it was alleged the man reached into his jacket where a loaded handgun was located.

On July 22, Rutledge pled guilty to three counts of hindering a law enforcement officer, a lesser charge than the original aggravated assault on a peace officer counts. Prosecutors dismissed the remaining three charges of obstruction of an officer and one count of interference with custody.

Rutledge in June 2012 filed a civil complaint in U.S. District Court against Sheriff Clark Millsap and the three responding deputies on allegations his Fourth and 14th Amendment rights were violated.

Assistant District Attorney Sharon Fox said in transcripts of the plea hearing that video footage of the incident at Rutledge’s residence began at the arrival of the third officer because of a delay at that time. Because the camera, when it was turned on, went forward, the original conversation with Rutledge was not recorded.

Fox said Rutledge reached into an area where officers had already saw a handgun and that was the basis for the hindering counts. Officers removed the gun, which did not fire, and detained Rutledge at that time.

Rutledge’s attorney said in the plea that deputies forced open a gate to the defendant’s property, and video does not show him reaching for his gun, which the attorney said he lawfully possessed.

He was sentenced to 12 months probation, which the judge ordered suspended upon payment of a $1,000 fine.

Morgan pled guilty to interference with custody with the state dismissing counts of interference with custody - special presentment and hindering an officer. She was sentenced to 12 months probation, which the judge ordered suspended upon payment of a $500 fine.