Why were Clay County Sheriff Jeff Lyde's accusers arrested? Here's what we know

Asia's Tech News Daily

Clay County Sheriff Jeffrey Lyde spoke during a press conference as shown in this Aug. 19 file photo.

The chain of events that led to charges of official oppression against Clay County Sheriff Jeff Lyde started with the arrests of a man and woman July 10.

One link in the chain is that a magistrate found no probable cause for the couple's arrests. The Times Record News obtained copies of their arrest reports from a justice of the peace.

A Clay County sheriff's deputy arrested both Landon Paul Goad, 33, and Sarah Lynn Johnson, 29, on domestic violence charges after listening to their accounts.

“Because both parties had conflicting stories on who initiated the assault first, I was unable to determine the primary aggressor,” the deputy wrote in the arrest affidavits.

Previously: Clay County Sheriff freed on PR bond

Two deputies were dispatched at 2:46 p.m. July 10 to the 2700 block of New London Road for a disturbance, according to the affidavits.

The location is a few miles south of Henrietta.

Clay County Sheriff Jeff Lyde

Goad told a deputy that Johnson, his girlfriend, hit and kicked him, according to allegations in the affidavits.

He had scratch marks on his stomach and wrist, and a knot on his head behind his ear, according to allegations in the affidavits.

Johnson told the deputy that Goad attacked her while she was trying to start a motorbike, according to allegations in the affidavits.

She had a swollen left eye and scratches on her shoulder, according to allegations in the affidavits.

The deputy arrested them on charges of assault causes bodily injury family/dating member, according to the affidavits.

The class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine up to $4,000.

Clay Justice of the Peace John Swenson said he did not find probable cause for Goad and Johnson's arrests.

He said he went to the jail and conducted his judicial duties for their arrests, but jail staff members could not make copies of the completed affidavits at that time.

Normally, they fax him copies the next day, but in this case, he didn't receive them, Swenson said.

The judge made a handwritten note dated July 12 at the bottom of Goad's incomplete arrest affidavit, saying the court found no probable cause and the original was in the Sheriff's Office.

More: Clay County charge against former Wichita County IT worker dismissed, Click to find out why

TRN submitted an open records request to the Sheriff's Office Thursday and to the Clay County Attorney's Office Friday to obtain completed affidavits and magistrate warnings for Goad and Johnson.

The agencies had not responded by Saturday afternoon. They have 10 days to respond.

Swenson wasn't the only judge who saw affidavits for the couple.

Clay County Judge Mike Campbell also said he carried out magistrate duties for Goad and Johnson's arrests.

Oppression charges against Clay County Sheriff Jeff Lyde

A Clay County grand jury indicted Lyde on two charges of official oppression, a class A misdemeanor, according to documents filed Nov. 15 in the Clay County District Clerk's Office.

More: Suspect arrested in Clay County deputy shooting

The indictments accuse Lyde of unlawfully detaining Goad and Johnson in jail over 48 hours without a finding of probable cause for their arrests from a judge, according to allegations in court records.

A Texas Ranger served a warrant on Lyde, arresting him at the jail Nov. 18, according to court records.

Accused of detaining two people overlong without probable cause, Lyde was quickly booked in and out of his own jail, appearing briefly on the jail roster.

Campbell released Lyde on a personal recognizance bond.

TRN submitted an open records request Tuesday to obtain his mugshot.

But jail staff did not take a booking photo when Lyde was booked into jail, sheriff's Capt. Lanny Evans said.

He offered the use of a photo of Lyde on the Sheriff's Office website as an alternative.

The day of his arrest, Lyde took to Facebook Live to criticize media accounts about it, saying they were “greatly exaggerated.”

His wife spread the word on Facebook that he had a “$0 bond” and “wasn't in a jail cell at all.”

Lyde declined Friday to answer emailed questions for this story.

He said he doesn't do written questions or taped interviews — “Especially not in this case and considering the repeated falsehoods, unverified story lines and, quite frankly, libelous 'news reporting' that’s been going on as of late.”

But he said he would happily answer questions during a press conference Tuesday at the Sheriff's Office. The time is to be determined.

More: Car involved in Clay County deputy shooting found in Wichita Falls

Trish Choate, enterprise watchdog reporter for the Times Record News, covers education, courts, breaking news, politics and more. Contact Trish with news tips at tchoate@gannett.com. Her Twitter handle is @Trishapedia.

This article originally appeared on Wichita Falls Times Record News: What we know about Clay County Sheriff Jeff Lyde's accusers

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