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Case of threat on judge on to grand jury panel

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By The Staff

    SHEPHERDSVILLE - A Bardstown man who allegedly came back from Florida and made threats to harm a local judge will have his case waived to the grand jury.

    Bullitt District Judge Jennifer Porter sent the case against Douglas Matthew Patterson to the grand jury for possible indictment.

    Originally, defense attorney Stephen Wright was hoping to have his client released with a mental evaluation to be done prior to the probable cause hearing.

    However, assistant county attorney Tom Swicegood said it was Patterson who violated the court order for an evaluation and he wanted to immediately move forward with the probable cause hearing.

    Patterson allegedly made a threat to harm Bullitt Circuit Family Court Judge Elise Spainhour.

    After receiving information that he was returning from a visit in Florida to Bullitt County, Patterson was apprehended without incident in the judicial center.

    Wright argued that until the competency of his client was determined, the case should not proceed. Porter said no testimony had been given on the competency issue.

    Det. Mike Cook of the Bullitt County Sheriff’s Department said local officials learned in early December that Patterson had talked to someone and made the threats. The Bardstown office of Child Protective Services called Bullitt County to alert local officials of the threat.

    It was during a Nov. 10 interview with Nelson County officials that Patterson allegedly made his threat.

    Attorney Tom Givhan, who is Spainhour’s father, filed an affidavit stating that Patterson’s stepfather observed a computer page where the defendant was occupying and it had the home address and directions listed for the judge’s home.

    Cook said that on Dec. 8, Patterson was apprehended in Shepherdsville and he admitted it was possible that he made a threat against the judge or anyone else who stopped him from seeing his child.

    Under cross-examination, Cook said that Patterson told him he was at the judicial center that day to fill out some paperwork. He didn’t have any weapons on his body or in his vehicle.

    The detective said Patterson was staying with his mother and stepfather and did in fact have access to the computer.

    In his closing argument, Swicegood said a threat doesn’t have to be carried out to be a charge of intimidation of a witness in a legal proceeding.

    Porter agreed. She waived the case to the grand jury and ordered Patterson to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

    In addition, Patterson, 32, was recently indicted on the charge of flagrant non-support.