Pike County Sheriff speaks on bond denial for David Benton

Published: May. 30, 2023 at 6:25 PM CDT|Updated: May. 30, 2023 at 6:26 PM CDT
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PIKE COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - The sheriff is speaking out after being accused of violating a court order.

That order was to release a suspected sex offender on bond, something the sheriff initially refused to do.

David Benton was indicted in March for 37 charges of rape, sexual abuse, and pornography involving a child under the age of 12. His bond was set at 2.2 Million dollars.

“I have to get it right. I don’t want to be on the hook for approving a $2.2 million bond, nor do I want to put our county in that predicament,” said Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas. “I do have the responsibility again, as I said to make sure that is a good and sufficient bond I have to get it right.”

Monday, May 15, Thomas says local bondsman Ricky Stokes called him asking to make bond for Benton, but at the time, Thomas says he was not an approved agent.

The next day, the circuit clerk received confirmation that Stokes was then approved by Guaranteed Bail Bonding, but the clerk was out of the office and sent the information to Thomas the following day.

Thomas also spoke about a complaint that against him before they received the approval. However, Thomas says he was never served the complaint.

“Again, I have never ever been served with a court order. I can’t violate a court order if I’ve never been served. I can’t legally approve a bond for a bonding agent who is not a legal agent approved by the court,” said Thomas

Thomas says local bondsman Ricky Stokes has since reached out to him personally and said he would not be able to make bond after all with being a newer company and not having sufficient funds.

Benton remains behind bars in the Pike County Jail

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