No clear answer came from an arraignment held last Friday regarding Jordan McClure, 30, who was charged with trafficking a controlled substance while armed as well as first-degree wanton endangerment when authorities discovered an ammo box containing guns, potentially explosive devices and drugs off KY 54.
At the arraignment, attorneys from both sides, along with District Judge Nick Burlew, clashed over bond conditions, the issue of public safety and how to proceed with the case going forward.
McClure’s attorney, Bryce Caldwell, appeared on behalf of his client at the arraignment, where he said McClure was submitting a plea of not guilty for the items discovered on Sept. 26. Caldwell asked repeatedly that McClure’s diagnosis of schizophrenia be kept off the record.
“I’m not going off the record on this case,” Burlew said. “If there’s a public safety issue, even with juveniles, that confidentiality goes out the window.”
Burlew brought Major Bill Thompson, Head of Criminal Investigations, to the stand to speak as to why a criminal summons was issued rather than an arrest warrant after finding evidence in McClure’s home that tied him to the ammo box found at the scene.
“We executed a search warrant and saw him Monday afternoon,” Thompson said. “Based on the info available to me that day, I chose not to take him into custody. I spoke with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office and served him a summons warrant. I spoke with his mother and dad, who said he was a schizophrenic and had been off his medicine. I was told that afternoon that an appointment with his psychiatrist had been made for the following morning at 9 a.m.”
However, Thompson said he wasn’t aware if McClure had gone to see his doctor, or if he had begun taking his medication again.
“I don’t know if he followed through with the things we talked about on the scene that day,” Thompson said. “He was there that day, but I’m not sure he understood what was going on.”
Thompson was told that McClure’s father, a licensed physician, would look after his son in the aftermath of the incident. Thompson said he had no reason to believe McClure’s father wouldn’t do as he said.
Burlew said he needed to know whether there was a public safety issue and demanded to see McClure’s parents in court as soon as possible.
“This is not a simple case. It’s complicated because your client allegedly went out and put explosives near schools and with guns, and then I think they found corroborating evidence after a search warrant was served,” Burlew told Caldwell. “That’s the complication in this case — the decisions your client made.”
Before any restrictions could be put on McClure’s bond or a GPS device put on him, Burlew met privately with one of McClure’s parents in his chambers.
“Sometimes you make choices,” Burlew said. “Maybe he’s got a mental situation where he didn’t know what he was doing, I don’t know. I want to know whether or not this young man is a danger to himself and others. If he’s not seeing a psychiatrist and not taking medication as prescribed — I’ve heard the word ‘schizophrenia,’ and that’s tied into paranoia, that’s tied into potential danger.”
McClure will be back in court on Nov. 15 for his preliminary hearing.
Editor’s note: Owensboro Times obtained a video recording of the arraignment, which was held last week.