COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The Muscogee County courtroom got heated Friday as Superior Court Judge Ben Richardson clarified the bond terms for Dennis Thompson, a man accused of placing cameras in the bathroom of his co-owned restaurant.
In this case, Thompson faces 23 counts — six of those for sexual exploitation, some involving minor victims. Some of the 23 charges stem from video footage found in Thompson’s Google account from hidden cameras inside multiple residents including his Columbus home.
In December, Judge Richardson set a bond for Thompson, who’s been free for over a month.
Today, the court held a clarification hearing for Thompson’s bond.
The hearing was initially recessed after the courtroom exchange between District Attorney Stacey Jackson and Defense Attorney William Kendrick became passionate.
When Judge Ben Richardson returned, he provided the modified terms for Thompson’s bond.
Thompson is now confined to property owned by his parents in Pine Mountain with just a few exceptions. In the original conditions, Thompson and his attorney read he could move freely within the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The judge says this was not the intention, and now Thompson must be inside the residence between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. He can move freely around the property outside of that.
According to Judge Richardson, exceptions for Thompson include doctors’ appointments and meetings with his attorney.
Attorney Jackson spoke to WRBL News 3 about today’s bond clarification hearing.
“I guess the thing about the bond order is it depends on who’s reading it and who’s interpreting it,” said Jackson. “That’s why Judge Richardson was able to clarify it today to make sure that both sides, the defendant, victims, witnesses, everybody had a clear understanding of what the condition of the bond would be.”
As for the courtroom dust-up, Attorney Kendrick summarized it well.
“We are professionals,” said Kendrick. “We advocate passionately, but in the end, it is nothing but mutual respect. We are fine.”
Thompson is co-owner of Animal Farm with Hudson Terrell. There is ongoing civil litigation ownership of the business. Thompson is not allowed at the business or near it.