Pre-trial hearing held for Nacogdoches County chief deputy accused of perjury

Pre-trial hearing held for Nacogdoches County chief deputy accused of perjury
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Stephen Godfrey, who is accused of perjury, attended a pre-trial hearing Tuesday. His jury trial is scheduled for March.

East Texas News was in court when attorneys proceeded in building their respective cases.

Godfrey has been on paid leave since July. The handshakes and hugs from coworkers and others provided encouragement.

Godfrey's defense is left to David Dobbs of Tyler.

Dobbs gave no interviews Tuesday.

He did his talking in the courtroom. He questioned an investigator for private defense attorney Sean Hightower.

Back in 2015, Godfrey testified in two suppression hearings involving Hightower clients. One of those cases was appealed by the state. In preparation for that appeal fight, Hightower ordered fact checking. He found the degrees Godfrey testified he had were different from what actual academic records show.

"And it is a factor when the judges determine how appeals work they look at the officer's training. They look at their education and that's why those questions are asked," Hightower said.

Hightower said he had a professional obligation to turn the findings over to the Nacogdoches County District Attorney.

"I gave it to the assistant district attorney at that time for them to handle, so it wasn't necessarily that we were out to get anyone," Hightower said. "It's just that it's our ethical obligation. We're required by the Code of Ethics to do it and that's why all that information was handed to the district attorney's office. From there, it's up to them as to what they're going to do."

The state chose to take it to the grand jury, placing Godfrey in his current legal battle.

A continuance has been granted. The pretrial will continue on Feb. 6. The scheduled trial date, if necessary, is March 20.

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