Jacksonville judge waffled in Sgt. J.C. Nobles' case
Share this @internewscast.com

A decision that resulted in a Jacksonville Sheriff’s sergeant being removed from an inventory of troubled cops underwent dramatic revisions before being released.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A judge whose rulings helped put a Jacksonville police sergeant on – then take him off – a list of troubled officers exhibited some indecision in that process.

A draft version of Circuit Judge Bruce Anderson’s April order about Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Sgt. J.C. Nobles obtained by First Coast News shows his opinion morphed from a 16-page version to just two.

And while the final version denied the State Attorney’s Office’s request to “clarify” his 2018 opinion finding Nobles untrustworthy, his draft version granted it.

The April order was just the most recent development in the long-running case. In 2018, Anderson threw out charges against a criminal defendant after finding that Nobles, a lead officer in the arrest, was “evasive” “not credible,” and “completely and materially changed his sworn testimony.” 

After the judge’s order, Nobles spent four years on the Brady list — a directory of cops whose past behavior requires disclosure to criminal defendants.

Nobles has always protested being on the Brady list, however, and following a First Coast News report on the Brady List in February, Chief Assistant State Attorney L.E. Hutton agreed at his request to ask Anderson to “clarify” his 2018 order. Because the case is four years old and closed, everyone agreed the judge has no actual jurisdiction in the case. 

Anderson tried to provide that “clarity” anyway, albeit on a shifting legal basis.

RELATED: Extraordinary remedy: Judge issues rare order in a closed case to rehabilitate officer’s sullied reputation

In his draft order, Anderson wrote, “In general, the Court lacks jurisdiction to rule on the Motion for Clarification nearly four years after the State dropped the charges. There is no legal authority for the State to file the motion.”

Bolstering that argument, he noted prosecutors never “appealed the [original] Order, filed a timely motion for rehearing, or otherwise previously sought clarification from the Court concerning its findings related to Sgt. Nobles’ testimony.” 

After laying that groundwork, however, Anderson opined in the draft that the SAO’s request “present[s] issues of great public importance,” and went on to grant the request for clarification.

“The Court is entering this Order to explain and repeat what should have been obvious and straightforward,” he wrote, without apparent irony, adding, “the Court made no finding that Sgt. Nobles … engaged in any personal or professional misconduct, attempted to intentionally mislead the Court, or otherwise committed perjury.”

RELATED: Investigation: Why do 2 officers on the Brady List continue to work in Jacksonville?

That draft order was never finalized. The two-page version he ultimately issued didn’t dwell on the history of the case or the rationale for weighing in. Instead, Anderson wrote several exculpatory paragraphs about Nobles (“this Court neither believed nor found that Sgt. Nobles ‘lied’ in his hearing testimony or sworn deposition testimony, or that he otherwise endeavored to intentionally mislead or deceive the Court”). He then denied prosecutors’ request for clarification, saying he had no jurisdiction to weigh in.

Based on that new order, State Attorney Melissa Nelson determined Nobles’ name should come off the Brady list.

The Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers objected. The group has sent two letters to Nelson, claiming prosecutors have “now taken on the role of Sgt. Nobles’ lawyer,” creating “an inherent conflict” that will require them to recuse themselves from any future case involving Nobles. They have demanded Nobles be put back on the Brady list.

Nelson has rejected the group’s demands, saying her office’s request for clarification on Nobles status  “was not pled on behalf of Sgt. Nobles but was an endeavor to determine the necessity of concluded Brady disclosures [about him].”

As of now, Sgt. Nobles remains on the street, and off the Brady list.

RELATED: ‘It’s quite clear he lied’: Outcry grows over decision to remove Jax officer from list of troubled cops

RELATED: A very Brady sequel: State Attorney defends removing officer from Brady list, disagrees that he ‘lied’

Share this @internewscast.com
You May Also Like

SFD extinguishes conveyor belt fire along Savannah River

SAVANNAH, Ga. () — Savannah firefighters responded to a large conveyer belt…

Cara Mund: Abortion ruling prompted US House run

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Former Miss America Cara Mund said Wednesday that…

Eye Opener: Rep. Liz Cheney takes on Trump-backed challenger in Wyoming primary

Eye Opener: Rep. Liz Cheney takes on Trump-backed challenger in Wyoming primary…

Rep. Val Demings’ Security Shoves Man to Ground at Event

Rep. Val Demings’ (D-FL) security detail reportedly shoved a man to the…

Florida judge sets October 2023 trial date for Samantha Markle’s defamation case against Meghan

A Florida judge has set a trial date for Samantha Markle’s defamation…

College students put on waiting list for on-campus housing

UNF tells First Coast News on campus housing is in extremely high…

“CBS Weekend News” headlines for Saturday, August 13, 2022

“CBS Weekend News” headlines for Saturday, August 13, 2022 – CBS News…

What tax breaks are included?

() — A number of tax breaks for households are included in…