Circuit Court judge denies bail to man accused of harassing Oxford mayor – The Oxford Eagle

Lafayette County Circuit Court Judge Kent Smith denied bail and ordered a psychiatric evaluation for a local man charged with aggravated stalking of Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill.

In a preliminary hearing, the court heard a case against Matt Reardon, 35, for breaching a restraining order that Robyn and Rhea Tannehill obtained in 2017.

In May 2017, Reardon was charged with stalking Tannehill and her husband, Rhea Tannehill. Reardon pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to five years probation and ordered out of Lafayette County for five years.

The restraining order specified that Reardon could not come within 500 feet of the law office of Tannehills or Rhea Tannehill, Tannehill, Carmean & McKenzie, PLLC located on North Lamar Boulevard.

Reardon breached the restraining order on June 20, when he visited Oxford Town Hall, Mayor Robyn Tannehill’s workplace.

On June 28, Reardon was arrested by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations and charged with aggravated criminal harassment.

During a June 30 Chancery Court hearing at the Calhoun County Courthouse, Lafayette County Chancery Court Judge Lawrence Little found Reardon in contempt of court for violating the protective order. According to the testimony of Calhoun County Sheriff Greg Pollan, Reardon swore at the Tannehills and repeatedly gave them the middle finger.

Pollan was one of eight witnesses Assistant District Attorney Tiffany Kilpatrick called to testify about Reardon’s character and the potential danger he posed not just to the Tannehills and their family, but to the entire community. . Among the witnesses was Lafayette County Sheriff Joey East, who said Reardon was “an absolute threat and a threat for a long time.”

The Tannehills also took the witness stand to testify about the June 20 incident and how they have handled the past five years.

Robyn Tannehill said her awareness of Reardon began when she proposed a resolution to remove the state flag which displayed the Confederate symbol.

Reardon, a supporter of state and Southern rights, reportedly and would attend meetings with a gun holstered.

“I started to be afraid of Mr Reardon when he came to a board meeting in 2017 and had a gun in his lap,” Robyn Tannehill told the hearing . “He looked at me and he pointed at me [with his finger] throughout the meeting.

According to the mayor, when Reardon’s actions began to escalate, the city introduced the idea of ​​metal detectors at City Hall and new policies to keep courtrooms safe. East said they increased law enforcement presence at meetings when they knew Reardon would be present.

Reardon would go on to post several social media posts and videos about Tannehill calling her corrupt and a communist and Rhea an accomplice to his actions.

Robyn would later find out that Rhea defended Reardon’s ex-partner in a domestic violence case against Reardon. According to the Tannehills, Reardon’s posts would escalate when it appeared he had lost visitation rights to his child, which he shared with the aforementioned partner.

According to Robyn, Reardon blames them for everything that went wrong in his life.

“He was obsessed with me and my family for over five years and irrationally credited us with every decision he personally made in his life,” she said.

Robyn then recounted with great emotion Reardon’s visit to City Hall on June 20.

Reardon also recorded a video of his visit and uploaded it to his YouTube channel, Lafayette County Audit.

The video shows Reardon entering the lobby of City Hall, venturing into the first floor lobby and chatting with city workers before heading up to the second floor where the mayor’s office is located.

According to Robyn Tannehill’s testimony in court, photos and descriptions of Reardon were circulated to city hall workers for awareness purposes. When Reardon entered the building, an employee on the first floor alerted Tannehill and his assistant to his presence and they hid from his sight.

“I can’t really explain the fear I had that day knowing that this monster was standing outside my door,” Robyn said. “My office is where it is thanks to Matt Reardon. I moved my office in 2017 because I was too accessible…I’ll just say it’s not fair to be afraid to sit in my own office.

The mayor then informed her husband of Reardon’s presence in the building, and the Oxford Police Department was promptly notified. Captain Donovan Lyons and Lieutenant Kevin Parker responded to the scene to apprehend Reardon and escort him away from City Hall.

Officers told Reardon he was in violation of the restraining order and if he needed to go to City Hall he could make an appointment. Reardon questioned the Tannehills restraining order, arguing its legitimacy but did not return to City Hall.

“I’m not scared of much, but it really drives me crazy to have to sit here and admit that this man scares me,” Robyn said. “He scares me for me, he scares me for my family, and he scares me for everyone in my office. It is not fair that these people are afraid at work. It’s not right for me to worry about my family’s safety.

“I’m sick of it,” she continued. “It’s time something was done.”

Based on the information provided and testimony, Smith said he would deny Reardon bail and require a psychiatric evaluation to certify that Reardon knows and appreciates the consequences of his actions, is fit to stand trial and that the psychiatrist or counselor assesses his threat. level and violent tendencies.

In an exercise in fairness, Smith asked Kilpatrick to ensure this case meets the grand jury in August. Reardon’s defense attorney, Mitchell Driskell III, said they would attempt an “informational statement”, a waiver of the indictment and an agreement charging the named defendant with committing a criminal act , sworn and signed. The bill would be presented in court by the district attorney, without grand jury involvement.

Smith gave Driskell approval to consider an information bill to expedite the case.

“I’m just trying to avoid unnecessary or unreasonable delay for Mr. Reardon because I don’t apologize for the decision, but I think the decision will stand,” Smith said. “Let this matter be resolved as soon as possible.”

About Jessica J. Bass

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