Judge sets bond for former Councilman Robert Jeffrey, Jr.
ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A Roanoke judge set bond for former Roanoke City Council member Robert Jeffrey, Jr. Wednesday afternoon, clearing the way for his release from jail until a sentencing hearing next month.
Jeffrey was originally denied bond after a jury found him guilty of obtaining money by false pretenses, and Jeffrey entered a plea of no contest to a charge of embezzlement.
Since then, the Virginia Court of Appeals ruled he is entitled to bond while he awaits sentencing.
During a hearing in Roanoke Circuit Court, attorney Melvin Hill said Jeffrey suffers from kidney failure and requires dialysis. Hill said his client had no criminal record before his conviction this year, and doesn’t represent a danger to the community.
“The court of appeals was clear and unequivocal,” Hill said during the hearing. “A reasonable bond should be set for Robert Jeffrey.”
But Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Sheri Mason argued a reasonable bond could be no bond.
“I would also suggest, and what the Commonwealth’s primary concern is, is security of the community at large, their financial security,” Mason told Judge David Carson. “So if Mr. Jeffrey is released on bond, the possibility that there are more victims that he could swindle just like NNEO.”
Carson said he stood by his earlier decision, but in light of the appeals court ruling he agreed to set bond.
“My disagreement with that higher court is irrelevant, because we’re a nation of laws and a higher court has spoken,” Carson said. “And I will follow the rule of law as laid out by that higher court.”
Carson set bond at $25,000 with surety, or $2,500 in cash, with the condition that the cash be applied to the restitution Jeffrey owes to the Northwest Neighborhood Environmental Organization. He also required that Jeffrey remain at home, except under specific circumstances.
Jeffrey is due to be sentenced August 22.
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