Former Arkansas Highway policeman denied bond in federal gun case

John William Vickers, 55

A retired Arkansas Highway patrolman was recently denied a request for pretrial release on a federal gun charge.

John William Vickers, 55, was indicted Dec. 9 by a federal grand jury for possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Vickers pleaded not guilty at an arraignment hearing the same day before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant in the Western District of Arkansas. Bryant set the case for jury selection in mid-January.

Vickers is accused of threatening numerous specific law enforcement officers in dozens of Facebook posts during October. Vickers was arrested Oct. 26 in Hempstead County for terroristic threatening and has remained in custody since.

According to Vickers’ federal indictment, officers searching Vickers’ home discovered a 9 mm pistol and a 12 gauge shotgun. Ammunition for both weapons was found also. Vickers is prohibited from possessing the guns per a protective order issued by a judge in Ouachita County in April.

Vickers allegedly told an investigator at the time of his arrest that God spoke to him and told him what to post on Facebook and that he didn’t truly intend on hurting anyone. According to court records, Bryant heard testimony at the hearing Dec. 9 from Vickers’ wife and a member of law enforcement, under questioning from Assistant U.S. Attorney Brice White and defense lawyer Craig Henry of Texarkana.

Bryant denied a request for Vickers’ release on bond while his case proceeds.

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