Jailed attorney balks at plea in drug case

Monday, February 22, 2010 at 3:44pm

The Nashville attorney who was expected to plead guilty to drug charges Monday morning is a back behind bars after he changed his mind about the plea deal.

An attorney representing Reginald Lamont Horton, 35, advised the court Friday that Horton would plead guilty rather than go to trial, which was scheduled to begin Monday in Davidson County Criminal Court.

But that same attorney appeared before Judge Steve Dozier on Monday to say that after further discussions, Horton had decided not to accept the plea.

During a hearing last week, Dozier suspended bond for Horton, who had been free since his March 2009 arrest on 17 drug and theft-related charges. He was immediately taken back into custody.

The state had filed a motion to revoke his bond, and a hearing on the matter began last week. After he refused the plea deal, it was continued until March 12.

It looks like the Horton will be spending a lot time in the courtroom — defending himself rather than others — in the coming months.

His trial on the drug charges that was scheduled Monday was rescheduled for Oct. 4.

The 2005 Vanderbilt University law school graduate also had a trial scheduled in June for the theft-related charges. Because the state had agreed to prosecute the drug charges first, that trial also had to be rescheduled.

In addition to fighting his criminal charges, he is also fighting to have his license to practice law reinstated. The Tennessee Supreme Court issued a temporary suspension in April 2009 after allegations surfaced that he was offering to trade legal services for stolen property.

He filed a request to have the suspension dissolved, but his request was denied and a hearing with the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility is scheduled for March 31-April 1.