NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - There's new developments surrounding Nacogdoches County's chief deputy, who is facing trial on four counts of aggravated perjury.
In August, Stephen Godfrey was arrested, released on bond, and placed on administrative leave with pay for allegedly lying about his educational background.
Since August, Godfrey has been away from public eye. On Monday, he broke that silence.
"Chief deputy on leave and defendant," Godfrey said. "The best we can considering what we've got."
According to indictments, Godfrey testified in previous court cases that he held degrees in criminal justice and psychology. Academic records show he holds an applied arts and sciences with concentrations in public safety and private security. No psychology degree is on file.
David Dobbs, a Smith County defense attorney has the explanations that he's ready to present.
"On behalf of Chief Godfrey," Dobbs said. "He cannot wait for his day in court."
Dobbs told the judge that he will file in the future a motion to quash the indictments based on an alleged violation of state criminal code by the district attorney's office. The code states no information of an indictment can be released prior to the defendant's arrest.
Nacogdoches County Sheriff Jason Bridges, Godfrey's boss, testified Monday. He stated he learned from the news media prior to Godfrey's arrest that his chief deputy had been indicted. "The district attorney's office received this case. Investigated this case," Dobb said. "Got a grand jury indictment. Had press conferences about it and then brought in a special prosecutor."
Godfrey spoke on how he's dealing with the charges and his readiness to have the evidence go before a jury.
"I'm ready to get all the facts on the table and stand strong for the people that I serve and get back to serving the people that I represent and have chosen me to be here," Godfrey said.
Numerous sheriff deputies were present to show their support for Godfrey. He was heard quietly saying, "I appreciate you all being here today."
Special prosecutor Whitney Tharpe did not comment on today's hearing. Godfrey's trial is set for January 23.