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By DAMON LAWRENCE
Rocky and Leon Houston aren’t free yet.
A hearing to discuss the conditions of bond release for the brothers was postponed until Monday, Feb. 9.
Special Judge James “Buddy” Scott wasn’t sure the Roane County Courthouse was going to be open on Tuesday because Roane County schools were closed.
“Those are usually some of the things that are automatically taken care of by policy within the counties,” Scott said. “If the schools are closed, quite often the courts are closed.”
The brothers, who are in jail in Scott and Loudon counties, were not transported to the courthouse because of the uncertainty.
They are accused of killing Roane County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Jones and Mike Brown. Jones and Brown, a former lawman, were friends who often rode together when Jones was on patrol. They died in a gunfight with the Houston brothers on May 11, 2006.
Neither has been convicted of any crime, despite two trials in the case. They have been in jail nearly three years.
Leon’s trial last July ended in a mistrial after the jury announced it was hopelessly deadlocked. Rocky’s December trial also ended in a mistrial, although the jury found him not guilty on several charges, including the first-degree premeditated murder of Brown.
Scott lowered bonds for the brothers during a hearing this past Saturday. He agreed to property bonds of $302,000 for Leon and $400,000 for Rocky. Scott told defense attorney Randy Rogers he was disturbed by something Rocky said during the Saturday hearing.
“The court was cognizant of what your client said the last time he was here, if the paperwork is correct, he’ll show up at any hearing,” Scott said.
Scott said he wants to give Rocky a message about that statement.
“I don’t care if it’s written in hieroglyphics,” Scott said. “I don’t care if it’s Greek. He will be here based upon the orders of the court. He will not make that determination.”