Charges against Sheriff Rutherford's brother dropped

UPDATE, 2/11/14: The State Attorney's Office opted to drop the charges against Hubert Clifford Rutherford because it did not believe there was enough evidence to convict Rutherford of the felony charges he faced, according to a statement from SAO Public Information Officer Jackelyn Barnard.

Barnard cited several factors, including a lack of cooperation from the 15-year-old victim's mother, the minor injuries she says the victim sustained, and a lack of independent witnesses to the incident, as reasons for dropping the charges.

UPDATE, 2/10/14: Charges of child abuse and battery against Hubert Clifford Rutherford, the brother of Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford, have been dropped.

The charges were dropped Monday, Feb. 10, according to Duval Clerk of Court records.

The Sheriff's Office had no comment on the matter.

Original story from Jan. 23 below:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The younger brother of Duval County Sheriff John Henry Rutherford was jailed after an alleged alcohol fueled dispute.

Hubert Clifford Rutherford, 49, was arrested Jan. 12 following an incident in which he is accused of grabbing a female victim by the throat and choking her, according to a report from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. The heavily redacted report also stated that a male child was also targeted by Rutherford.

Both victims ran from the home where the incident occurred and were chased by Rutherford who allegedly was armed with a golf club, according to the report.

First Coast News spoke with attorney Richard Kuritz who said since this is Rutherford's third arrest, it's an "absolute reality" that he's facing jail time, possibly 10-30 days. If he happens to avoid jail, then he's looking at a minimum of one year probation and 6 months of counseling, Kuritz detailed.

Rutherford will likely enroll in an intensive domestic violence program and go through TASC, which is a drug and alcohol program based on his string of arrests, Kuritz added.

Rutherford was booked into the Duval County Jail and faces charges of battery, assault, child abuse and domestic battery by strangulation. Rutherford is currently being held on an $80,012 bond and is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 4.


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