Obstruction of Justice
Man charged with helping son attempt to intimidate alleged victim
Saturday, July 26, 2014 5:00 AM
The father of a man accused of attempted murder has been charged with trying to get his son's alleged victim to not cooperate with investigators.
Charles L. Whitham appeared in Superior Court on Friday after posting a $25,000 cash only bond. He is charged with felony attempted obstruction of justice.
His son, Charles S. Whitham, was arrested in July 2012, after police say he attacked a female relative, punched her several times in the face and choked her with a phone cord, according to court records.
A forensic pathologist reported that injuries from such an attack are often fatal.
That information allowed police to charge Charles S. Whitham with attempted murder, a Class A felony. He also faces charges of aggravated battery, a Class B felony; two counts of battery, a Class C felony; criminal confinement, a Class B felony; strangulation, a Class D felony; and battery, a Class A misdemeanor. A trial has been set for Sept. 16.
The elder Whitham posted a $60,000 cash only bond for his son, but the prosecutor's office has since submitted a petition to revoke the bond.
The petition alleges Charles S. Whitham violated a no-contact order by reaching out to the alleged victim through family members and urging her to write a letter to the court on his behalf.
Deputy Prosecutor DJ Mote said the recent charges are part the prosecutor's office intolerance toward those attempting to coerce alleged victims into not working with law enforcement.
"It is completely unacceptable for a defendant in a criminal case to contact an alleged victim directly, or through a third party, and apply pressure of any kind," Mote said in a news release.
Mote added that it's a common misconception that the alleged victim must press charges or be the one to dismiss charges.
"Crimes against individuals are crimes perpetrated on our community as a whole. Contrary to what clearly is popular belief in some circles, our office will not simply dismiss charges because a defendant is able to coerce the alleged victim into recanting or refusing to cooperate," he said in a release.
"It's time those charged with crimes in our county understand that such efforts will not be tolerated."
The case is ongoing and more charges may follow.