BY KEN LITTLE
Dr. Robert W. Locklear will remain held without bond in the Greene County Detention Center until at least July 8.
That's the preliminary hearing date for Locklear set Friday by acting General Sessions Court Judge David Leonard, who was filling in for Judge Kenneth Bailey Jr.
The 42-year-old Greeneville doctor was taken into custody early Thursday in an Alabama hotel by a bail bondsman after leaving a drug rehab facility the previous weekend without notifying authorities.
Clad in orange Greene County jail overalls in court, Locklear remained impassive and said nothing during his brief court appearance.
CHECKED OUT OF REHAB
Jerry J. Fabus Jr., the Johnson City lawyer representing Locklear, told Leonard that his client had checked out of Bradford Health Services in Warrior, Ala., last weekend as he was awaiting admission into another rehab in North Carolina.
A decision to allow Locklear to check in to a second rehab facility may be made July 8 by Bailey, who ordered that Locklear be placed on bond monitoring when he was freed on $80,000 bond after his first court appearance on June 13.
Locklear violated terms of his release and was picked up early Thursday by an employee of Greeneville-based Express Bail Bonds in a Best Western Hotel in Gardendale, Ala., near Birmingham.
Locklear was charged on June 11 with two counts of felony possession of a Schedule II drug.
In court Friday, Fabus acknowledged that Locklear had tested positive for cocaine after being taken into custody this week.
"Our goal is to get him back into rehab. It certainly doesn't benefit him to sit in (jail). To get him back into the rehab would be much more productive," Fabus said.
As part of Locklear's release conditions, Bailey had originally ordered bond monitoring and stipulated that Locklear submit to alcohol and drug testing every 10 days. If Locklear went to a rehabilitation facility, he had to abide by the rules of that facility, bond terms said.
BACK FROM ALABAMA
Locklear was driven back to Greeneville from Alabama and booked into the county jail about 11 a.m. Thursday.
Kerry Emmett, Express Bail Bonds owner, said Thursday that he learned that Locklear may have actually checked himself out of the upscale Alabama rehab facility two or more times.
Locklear has a private internal medicine practice at 895 E. Andrew Johnson Hwy.
The Trinity Internal Medicine office has been closed since his arrest.
Locklear has been in private practice since February 2012. He was affiliated for several years with Takoma Medical Associates before opening his own practice, but has no current affiliation with the hospital system.
On June 5, sheriff's deputies answered a domestic disturbance call at the Be Happy Apartments, 3425 Snapps Ferry Road.
Third Judicial District Drug Task Force agents were contacted and found crack cocaine in an apartment bathroom laundry basket, a report by a Drug Task Force agent said.
On June 11, Greeneville police received a complaint from the clerk at the Comfort Inn, at 1790 E. Andrew Johnson Hwy.
The clerk told officers that "a large amount of short-stay traffic" was taking place in a room registered to Locklear, adding she was suspicious of drug activity, a report said.
Locklear was placed under arrest June 11 in connection with the June 5 incident.
Police said about 6.4 grams of crack cocaine were found in Locklear's pants pocket during a search at the Comfort Inn, leading to the second drug possession count he is charged with.
Locklear was initially scheduled by Bailey for a July 29 preliminary hearing, but the recent developments in his case prompted Leonard to move the date up to July 8.