Dillard for wbb

Police report filed against deputy out on federal bond

By Sandi P. Beason

Daily Journal

A Tupelo police report was taken Wednesday alleging Lee County sheriff’s deputy Danny Dillard assaulted a man attempting to serve papers for a local attorney.

Dillard is currently out on a $5,000 unsecured bond after he was indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly kicking, stomping and striking Billy Ray Stone in an attempt to kill him. Stone is the man authorities say killed Sheriff Harold Ray Presley on July 6.

Cary Horton, a process server for Attorney Jim Waide, went to Dillard’s Lombard Street residence to serve papers in the West v. Dillard, et al, civil suit filed on April 19. That suit charged Dillard and deputies Jason Stanford and Gary Dodds with a civil rights violation in the April 2001 arrest of Luther Ryan West at a local nightclub.

“I have served Dillard previously on another suit we have,” said Amanda Horton, wife of Cary Horton. “We went to his house. I knocked on the door first, and there was no answer.”

At that point, she said, she and her husband started to leave but noticed a smoking barbecue grill on Dillard’s porch.

“I was a little afraid,” she said. “My husband went to another door and knocked, with the summons in his hand.”

Amanda Horton said Dillard, who was sitting in a chair inside the house, jumped up, ran across to the door, jerked it open and started screaming.

“Then he started swinging,” she said.

“Cary then stated that Danny grabbed his arm very tightly and shoved him into his vehicle, then swung his elbow towards him, hitting him in his shoulder and face,” according to the police report. “Looking at Cary’s arm, it was evident that he had been hit or grabbed or something of that nature. His arm was very red.”

Amanda Horton said she and her husband left, and called 911 and the Tupelo police.

“We drove around the block, and we ran into a police officer,” she said.

While her husband was giving the officer information for the report, she said, a sheriff’s department patrol car passed them, and Dillard was riding in the front seat.

“He shook his finger at us,” she said. “We were under the impression he was suspended and didn’t have deputy rights when he came where we were. He came, I guess, to see what we had done about it.”

Amanda Horton said she and her husband are still trying to decide whether to press charges against Dillard.

“It’s a good possibility his bond could be revoked,” she said. “A big consideration here is, my husband has just come from speaking with our preacher. Danny Dillard has been coming to our church. His becoming a regular attender at our church will have a big bearing on whether we’ll press charges.

“It’s a tough choice.”