violates Judge's order multiple times
A domestic dispute last August landed an Osgood man in the hospital,
then in jail, and now in more hot water with a consistent violation
of the Judges No Contact Order.
This stemmed from an incident where Clifford Doc Winters
of Osgood, is accused of being involved in a violent domestic
dispute, then shooting himself before he could be taken into police
custody. He was airlifted by PHI to University Hospital in Cincinnati,
according to Ripley Publishing Co. files.
After Winters was released from the hospital in September, he
was arrested and charged with Serious Violent Felon in Possession
(of a gun), a Class B Felony; Strangulation, a Class D Felony,
and Domestic Battery in the Presence of Children, a Class D Felony.
Ripley County Circuit Court Judge Carl Taul issued a No Contact
Order on September 21, 2009, in regard to the victim in the case.
Winters posted bail on October 26, 2009, but was rearrested for
violating the No Contact Order and charged on December 4, 2009
for Invasion of Privacy, which is a Class A Misdemeanor. At that
time the State filed a motion for Increase of Bail. The bail was
set at $10,000 cash and Winters remains incarcerated at the Ripley
Recently, Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel learned that Winters
had not been abiding by the No Contact Order, but has in fact
violated it in excess of 250 times by calling the victim from
The prosecutor filed a motion that noted in part that these
continual violations of the Courts Order are damaging to
the Prosecution; constitute an ongoing criminal offense; as well
as show an overall disdain for the Courts authority.
At the hearing, which was held Thursday, January 28 at 10 a.m.
in the circuit court, Judge Carl Taul agreed that Winters could
not have any contact with the victim in this case.
Even to the argument of Winters attorney, Mark Jones, who
said the victim wants contact with his client, Judge Taul said
it didnt matter because she is a material witness in the
ongoing court case.
Prosecutor Hertel asked that Winters either be denied all phone
privileges or be removed from the local jail and taken to the
Indiana Department of Corrections where he could be more properly
A jailer with the Ripley County Jail was in the courtroom and
noted that the way the phones are located in the open cell blocks
it would make monitoring almost impossible.
While the Judge was reluctant to immediately send Winters to the
Indiana Department of Corrections, saying it would make it harder
for him to communicate with his attorney, he did tell him he would
have no problem doing just that if the defendant violates the
No Contact Order again. If there is another occurrence Mr.
Winters, you will go to the Indiana Department of Corrections,
Judge Taul instructed the defendant. The Judge ordered Winters
to have phone privileges only to his attorney.
Winters told the court, You have my word on it, (that
he would not violate the order again). Judge Taul stressed no
contact means no contact, either in person, on the phone, or in
writing. He further noted that the defendant could be charged
with over 250 counts of Contempt of Court, which would be 250
x 180 days of incarceration.
In the hearing the prosecutor said he wasnt as optimistic
about Winters keeping his word as the defense attorney was. He
said Winters has shown utter disregard for the courts authority.
He said he felt there would be better monitoring at the IDOC that
would result in repercussions. The prosecutor noted that it is
apparent from the 200 plus calls already made that the jail is
ill equipped to monitor the calls.
Hertels motion noted that despite the Courts
No Contact Order and despite requests by the Prosecuting Attorney,
the Ripley County Sheriffs Department has refused/declined
to enforce this Order. He said he didnt feel comfortable
with Winters still having any phone privileges.
Ripley County Sheriff Tom Grills told the Osgood
Journal there were reasons for how the situation was handled,
but could not comment on the advice of his attorney.
A trial date for the initial charges for Winters has been set
for February 23-25.