A federal magistrate judge has revoked the bond of a Lawrence man who sent a blast e-mail last month criticizing federal prosecutors and Lawrence police officers.
U.S. Magistrate Judge James P. O’Hara ruled that Guy M. Neighbors, an owner of the Yellow House Store, 1904 Mass., posed a threat of “continued criminal defamation of government counsel and witnesses.” Neighbors made statements in the e-mail that accused prosecutors and police of corruption in the stolen-goods case against him.
“Despite being specifically and repeatedly warned both by the court and defense counsel about such conduct being improper, defendant persists,” O’Hara wrote in his court order.
Neighbors and his wife, Carrie Neighbors, also an owner of the secondhand store, are accused of selling stolen goods and face 19 charges of wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering in the 2007 case. They also have two other cases pending, one accusing them of manufacturing marijuana and a second of obstructing a theft investigation.
Trial is scheduled for October.
Guy and Carrie Neighbors for more than three years have maintained their innocence. Until last year, they frequently used Internet blogs as a forum in which they were outspoken critics of federal prosecutors, Marietta Parker and Terra Morehead, and Lawrence police officers. But prosecutors have repeatedly said many of the allegations from the defendants are false and are meant to intimidate witnesses from testifying against them.
The two sides reached an agreement last year not to discuss the case publicly outside court, and O’Hara had rejected calls from prosecutors several times to revoke Guy Neighbors’ bond.
Guy Neighbors sent an e-mail to several addresses on April 22, including to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Kansas City, Mo., field office, that accused prosecutors and Lawrence police officers to have acted “in a pattern of conspiracy and cover-up.” In a written court motion, Parker said that the allegations were false and that evidence presented at a hearing in 2008 proved it.
O’Hara also denied a motion to have Guy Neighbors undergo a mental health evaluation. But in the written order that Neighbors be held in federal custody, O’Hara said Neighbors might have “delusions” or strongly held opinions that prosecutors and witnesses were “conspiring against him.”