Hampton man accused of threatening witness
A Hampton man was arrested Saturday after he was accused of threatening a witness to an incident in which two of the man’s sons were charged.
James Wesley Ford, 49, 104 Carl Smith Road, Hampton, was arrested shortly before 3 a.m. on Saturday by Carter County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Isaac Rhea on a warrant charging him with coercion of a witness, a Class D felony. According to a police report, Ford was arrested without incident at his home.
The investigation that led to the charges against Ford began on April 30, when a woman who had earlier told police three men were using drugs in the presence of a child again contacted law enforcement officers and said she had been threatened by the father of two individuals who had been arrested.
Ford’s sons, Tyler Nathaniel Edwards, 21, and Cody Alan Edwards, 26, were arrested along with Larry Lyons, 30, on April 29. Police had responded to a residence on Swimming Pool Road after receiving the woman’s complaint. All three men were charged with drug-related offenses at that time.
The woman who made the April 29 report contacted the Carter County Sheriff’s Department the next day. She told authorities that Ford contacted her by telephone and text message regarding the April 29 incident. She told authorities they spoke about Ford’s sons being incarcerated and about her brother also being in jail at this time.
According to the report, the woman received a text message from Ford which said “I no (sic) he is and he better look out for you.”
After receiving that text message, the woman reported it to law enforcement.
“(The woman) states that she is now fearful that Mr. Ford is planning to retaliate by harming her or her property because she reported the crime that resulted in the arrest of his sons,” CCSD Sgt. Nick Andes wrote a police report documenting the woman’s complaint, adding that Ford lives less than 100 yards from the woman’s residence.
Sgt. Andes said in his report that he was able to confirm that the woman had been contacted by Ford and that the text message was from the suspect because Ford had given his phone number to Andes the previous day while Sgt. Andes was investigating the incident at Swimming Pool Road.
After speaking with the woman, Sgt. Andes then obtained an arrest warrant for Ford charging him with Coercion of a Witness.
Ford is currently being held in the Carter County Detention Center on a $10,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on July 15.