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January 11, 2014

Suspended Clark County court employee says he followed judge's orders

Supervising Judge Jerry Jacobi remains silent

(Continued)

JEFFERSONVILLE — HANDING HIM OFF

Snelling also provided an account of what transpired when he, Knoebel and Hendrick arrived at the jail.

“As we were going down the [Clark County jail’s] sally port, Cody [Hendrick] was crying his eyes out. ‘I said Cody, it will be OK,” Snelling said.

Snelling said Hendrick asked if he could be released from the handcuffs so he could wipe the tears from his face before entering the jail.

“I said, ‘Cody, I tell you what, just hold still,’ I grabbed a napkin … I wiped the boy’s tears away,” Snelling said. “Now, if I am a jerk and I’m trying to be mean to this guy, why in the world would I do something as kind-gestured as that?”

Snelling said after entering the jail, he handed Hendrick off to Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy Cole Wilcoxson to serve the arrest warrant.

“That was the last time I had heard about this or saw anything until recently that there was an issue,” Snelling said.

Hendrick’s booking sheet for the arrest was provided by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office on Friday. It reads that the arresting officer is Snelling and the arresting agency is the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

Snelling said he refers to portions of the Indiana Probation Safety and Security manual to stay within the guidelines of proper procedure, including handcuffing and the transportation of drug court participants. He said his supervisors, including Jacobi, have told him to follow the applicable procedures in the manual.

The manual gives guidelines specifically to probation officers, which Snelling is not.

Knoebel has said the guidelines apply to Snelling because he works under her supervision.

“[These are] the only guidelines that we have to reference from and even though I am not an official probation officer, I am working under either the probation department control or judge Jacobi’s control,” Snelling said. “I just do what my boss tells me to do.”

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