Rocky Houston back in custody, Leon stays on bond

Rocky Houston back in custody, Leon stays on bond

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Rocky Houston Rocky Houston
Leon Houston Leon Houston

KINGSTON (WATE) -- Rocky Houston was taken back into custody for violating conditions of his bond after a hearing in Roane County Friday. His brother, Leon, however, remains free on bond.

The state argued that Rocky had violated conditions of his bond. Special Judge David Hayes set Rocky's bond at $500,000 for now, but will schedule another hearing to consider modifying the amount. 

Monitoring device records show Rocky went outside the authorized zone allowed by his bond several times to get fast food and groceries, a company representative testified earlier in the day. 

Rocky argued that he shouldn't go back to jail because he's always showed up in court. He's not a public threat and he's financially devastated.

"When you jail me because the state wants me in jail, you crippled my defense. You've blindfolded me. You've tied my hands," Rocky told Judge Hayes at one point. 

"Don't rush into this. This is a legal, big red, legal stop sign. Conflicts, there's reasons why you don't run stop signs. There's many, many reasons. Not just in the judicial system, but out here on the highway. You don't run stop signs and get broad sided by a train," Rocky added.

The Houston brothers are charged in the fatal shootings of Roane County Deputy Bill Jones and his friend, Mike Brown, in 2006. 

The brothers dropped their attorneys in July and are representing themselves for their retrials.

Leon's first trial ended in a hung jury in July 2008.

Rocky's first trial in December 2008 concluded with no verdict in Deputy Jones' death, but a not guilty finding in the killing of Brown.

In court Friday, Rocky announced Leon had filed a civil suit against Judge Hayes in the amount of $5 million.

Rocky argued this makes Judge Hayes a materiel witness in this case. He wanted the hearing to be continued and the state Supreme Court to appoint a special judge.

However, Judge Hayes denied the motion.

A representative with the state attorney general's office argued that Gov. Phil Bredesen  shouldn't be subpoenaed in this case and wouldn't have any relevant testimony. The judge agreed.

The brothers also subpoenaed Chief U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier and Judge Buddy Scott, who presided over their first trials, in July.

A witness for the state, Kristin Zachary from Tracking Solutions, the electronic monitoring service for the brothers, was called to the stand.

Zachary said the state submitted records showing the Houstons brothers hadn't paid for their monitoring devices, a condition of their bonds, so the service was terminated.

She testified that monitoring device records show Rocky going outside the authorized zone about 16 times, including visits to Cracker Barrel, Piggly Wiggly, Sonic, McDonald's, gas stations and banks.

Zachary said Rocky once got angry at her for telling him where he was allowed to go.

Rocky cross examined Zachary, being told repeatedly by Judge Hayes to question her, not to testify.

He argued that he never went outside his allowed area except for medical reasons, but has gone to Piggly Wiggly and restaurants because he has a right to eat.

Judge Hayes ruled that Leon Houston can remain on bond because he has cooperated with the conditions, but he has to find a new company for a tracking device to wear.

Leon is due back in court on August 20.

Tracking Solutions will no longer work with the Houstons. Zachary said Rocky screamed, belittled and harassed her several times.

6 News Anchor/Reporters Whitney Holmes and Erica Estep contributed to this report.

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