Witness threatening alleged

bestep@herald-leader.comApril 1, 2009 

An acquaintance of Clay County public officials who have been charged with corruption sent witnesses in the case a threatening photo of himself holding a pistol, an FBI agent alleges.

Richard Brian Hubbard, 20, sent the message to two witnesses using the popular social networking site My Space, the special agent, Timothy S. Briggs, said in a sworn statement.

The message Hubbard sent with the photo was, "Look what you have caused by your lies: good job," Briggs said.

Briggs swore out a complaint charging Hubbard with threatening a witness. The complaint was filed publicly Tuesday.

Police recently arrested eight Clay County residents on charges of scheming to buy votes in several elections.

Briggs said Hubbard sent the photo at 2:39 a.m. March 24. That was about 12 hours after a hearing on prosecutors' request to keep a key defendant, former Circuit Judge R. Cletus Maricle, in jail until the trial.

Briggs testified at that hearing, using information from the two witnesses.

The witnesses weren't named. But Briggs said he believed there was enough detail in the testimony so that others in Clay County could identify them.

The witnesses were frightened when they got a photo of a man holding a gun, Briggs said.

Briggs said Hubbard was an election officer in 2008, appointed by Charles Wayne Jones, one of those charged with Maricle.

Hubbard acknowledged meeting with Jones the day of Maricle's detention hearing and discussing possible witnesses in the case, Briggs said.

Hubbard also confirmed sending the photo, though he denied he had learned the recipients were witnesses, Briggs said.

When police searched Hubbard's home, they found two pistols, three shotguns and an SKS assault rifle, according to the agent's statement.

Hubbard is jailed and faces a hearing Wednesday on whether he will be released, court records indicate.

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