2 jailed for intimidating trial witness
by James Phillips
Feb 28, 2013 | 6430 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Two people who allegedly threatened a witness at the Walker County Courthouse after she had testified during a trial earlier this week were found in contempt of court Wednesday and arrested on charges of intimidated a witness.

Zachary Jurvis, 22, and Domonique Jones, 20, both of Walker County, were found in contempt after a short hearing Wednesday afternoon, which was presided over by Circuit Judge Jerry Selman and District Judge Greg Williams. Selman sentenced the couple to 72 hours, with credit for time served, in the Walker County Jail.

Immediately after the judge gave his decision, Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair announced he had signed warrants against Jurvis and Jones for intimidating a state’s witness. The warrants were served immediatley, and Adair said there was no bond.

“This type of thing is just not going to be tolerated at the Walker County Courthouse,” Adair said.

During the contempt hearing, a witness, who had testifed Monday morning in the trial of Carl David Plylar, said she was addressed by Jones as she left the courthouse.

The witness had testified that Plylar had raped and sexually assaulted her when she was a child. On Wednesday, the witness testified that as she left the courtroom on Monday that a young woman, who she identified as Jones, told her, “Snitches wind up in ditches.”

“I asked her what she had said and she told me, ‘You heard me b----.’”

After a friend asked if the statement should be taken as a threat, the witness said Jurvis followed them outside, got in their face and said, “We can make it a threat if that is what you want.”

The witness ultimately called the DA’s office, who had courthouse security search for the individuals. After they were located, Jurvis was taken into the courtroom before Selman, who instructed him that he and Jones were banned from the courthouse until the trial was completed.

Alana Sewell, an assistant district attorney who was a prosecutor Plylar case, testified during Wednesday’s contempt hearing that she saw Jurvis and Jones in the basement of the courthouse Tuesday morning.

Kevin Pinkard, a deputy with the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, testified Wednesday that Jurvis had left before he got to the basement, but Jones was still there.

“I told her she had to leave or she was going to jail,” Pinkard said. “She said she was only there on business, and I told her that didn’t matter that she had to leave.”

Jasper attorney Nath Camp represented Jurvis and Jones at the contempt hearing. He said the two had only returned to the courthouse, because Jones needed a photo ID to start a job at Marshall Durbin.

Before giving his decision, Selman said it did not matter why they were at the courthouse.

“You were ordered by this court and told not to come back, and you were here at 8 the next morning,” he said. “I have no alternative but to find you in contempt.”

Adair said the charge of intimidating a witness was a Class C Felony offense and, if convicted, the two will face between one and 10 years in prison.