ADA accused of deadly conduct still on the job

June 30, 2011 3:55:15 PM PDT
Liberty County's assistant district attorney is still on the job and some are wondering why. Joe Warren faces charges of tampering with a witness, making a terroristic threat and deadly conduct.

This arrest has raised many eyebrows across Liberty County. The assistant DA has kept his job despite the allegations against him.

In the small city of Cleveland, much of the talk Thursday is about the arrest of Warren.

"Can they trust him as a DA?" asked Cleveland resident Sheila Hightower.

"He should be on standby or something until they can clear him of that," said Sam Bass of Cleveland.

Warren is leading the prosecution of a gang rape case that has drawn national attention in Cleveland. Nineteen young men and boys are accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl. The case is so sensitive that a judge has issued a gag order prohibiting those involved from talking publicly.

But the arrest of Warren now has some of those calling for his removal from the case.

"Now you have a man intimidating state's witnesses. But this is the same man who has to put state's witnesses on the stand in the Cleveland rape case. I wouldn't trust him in any case," said community activist Quannel X.

Warren was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of deadly conduct, making a terroristic threat and tampering with a witness. The charges stem from an incident in April of last year at his home where a neighbor's dog allegedly killed one of his.

Liberty County District Attorney Mike Little says Warren will not be pulled off the case. He notes that Warren is innocent till proven guilty.

Legal analysts call this an unusual set of circumstances.

"I would say short of an indictment it would be a little soon to say whether it might be warranted to take this prosecutor off the Cleveland case," said legal analyst Sarah Frazier.

At this point, Warren has not been indicted. He's been arrested and bonded out of jail.

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