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Judge revokes Rocky Houston's bond; Leon still free

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By The Staff

By DAMON LAWRENCE

dlawrence@roanecounty.com

After nearly five months of freedom, Rocky Houston is back behind bars.

Special Judge David Hayes revoked his bond Friday afternoon and ordered him back to jail. Special prosecutor Kenneth Irvine argued that the bond should be revoked because Rocky committed numerous violations of his bond conditions since his release from jail in March. The judge agreed.

“You have violated the conditions of release,” Hayes said.

Hayes set a new bond of $500,000 and told Rocky he will set conditions for him to follow if he's able to make bond again. 

“You're not to be released until those conditions are made clear,” Hayes said.

Rocky and his brother, Leon, were ordered to comply with electronic monitoring while out on bond for murder charges. They were also supposed to be on house arrest with limitations on where they could go.

“It doesn't include the Piggly Wiggly,” Irvine said. “It doesn't include going to Sonic.”

Kristen Zachary, owner of the monitoring company Tracking Solutions, testified that Rocky had been tracked going to those places. She also testified that he was detected at numerous other places where he wasn't authorized to go, such as McDonald's, Food City, Cracker Barrel and Subway.  

Rocky also had not been paying for the monitoring service, which cost $12 a day. He said he couldn't afford it, and Tracking Solutions notified the court that it planned to stop the monitoring on July 31 at midnight for non-payment. Both he and Leon took off their bracelets before the deadline.

Rocky represented himself at the hearing. He subpoenaed three witnesses to testify. Those included Gov. Phil Bredesen, federal judge Curtis Collier and Judge James “Buddy” Scott.

Attorney Will Lundy was sent by the Tennessee Attorney General's Office to quash the subpoenaed for Bredesen.

“The affidavit provided by special prosecutor Ken Irvine shows that there is no relevant material testimony the governor can provide in this hearing,” Lundy said.

Hayes agreed to quash the subpoena. The subpoena for Collier was never served because it was sent to the federal court in Knoxville and Collier works out of the federal court in Chattanooga.

Scott was served and showed up to testify. He presided over the Houston case for nearly three years before he abruptly recused himself back in February.

Throughout the case Rocky has accused Scott of being involved with a conspiracy against him. He tried to go into those theories when Scott was on the witness stand, but Irvine continuously objected, saying the line of questioning was irrelevant to whether or not Rocky violated his bond conditions. Rocky persisted, but Hayes eventually had enough and told Rocky he had one more question.

“If you can come up with a relevant question, it better be this one,” Hayes said.

Hayes determined Rocky's final question to Scott was not relevant and told Scott he was free to go.

Tracking Solutions declined to resume Leon Houston's monitoring service. Hayes allowed him to go home following Friday's hearing, but ordered him to find another company that can provide the service.

“I'm going to try hard to find somebody,” Leon said.

If not, he may have to return to jail. Hayes scheduled a hearing in the matter for Aug. 20.

Irvine said he knew a lot of people wanted to see both Houston brothers back in jail, but he pointed out that Leon has pretty much stayed home since his release.

“He has done well, despite all the problems his brother's had,” Irvine said.