By David Knopf/Richmond News
y Coleman continues to inch forward, though not quite as quickly as his prospects for being free on bond.
Coleman had been scheduled Tuesday for a preliminary hearing on his charge of aiding in the August 2012 escape of fellow Ray County prisoner Daniel Allen McCarty. But the prosecution requested a continuance after McCarty, an expected witness, declined to testify – his Constitutional right to not incriminate himself.
The prosecution had requested, and been granted, a motion that would have allowed McCarty to be transported from jail to court to go on record about Coleman’s role in his escape.
When McCarty was arrested after his escape and then transported back to jail, he told a Ray County deputy about Coleman’s alleged role and then repeated the story on the record after being administered his Miranda rights.
Stephen Chase Higinbotham, Jr., Coleman’s public defender, in effect used McCarty’s absence to cut a deal with the court.
“I will cut to the chase,” he told Judge James Thompson. “My understanding is that Mr. McCarty refuses to testify on this matter. If my client’s release is imminent, I assure the court my client would agree to the prosecution’s request for a continuance.”