Accused man seeks bond reduction

Published 12:03 am Saturday, November 5, 2011

An accused murderer, out of jail for the last three weeks seeking medical treatment, is set to ask a judge Monday to reduce his bond so that he can remain free until the start of his trial the following week.

Bobby Wayne Copeland is charged with the July 2009 shooting death of his wife, Dorothy, at the couple’s North Creek Community home.

Court records show Copeland was released on Fri., Oct. 14, after citing “health problems with his heart” and the need to seek outside medical treatment.

Sheriff Dennis Meeks said previously that Copeland was taken by ambulance to an undisclosed hospital before his release from jail. While typically, it is the jail’s responsibility to provide inmate medical treatment and care, Meeks said that Copeland’s transfer was unavoidable.

It was apparently Copeland’s second release from jail. In a handwritten letter, he thanked Circuit Judge Ashley M. McKathan for a previous month-long release in August, when he experienced a weeklong stay in “South General Hospital in Dothan” and a three-week stay with friends.

It was in that letter Copeland also asked the judge to reduce his $1 million bond.

“I’m asking that my bond be reduced from $75,000 cash to $80,000 property bond,” he wrote. He also stated he had friends that would post bail for him.

“I am not a flight risk,” he also wrote. “I had the opportunity and financial means to flee when I was out in August.”

Copeland stated the bond reduction was needed so that he could use the time to seek additional medical treatment, “for the proper follow up with doctors at South General Hospital in Dothan.”

“The Covington County Jail does not have the proper medical staff or equipment such as oxygen or an inhaler,” he wrote. “I have a bad heart, kidney and lungs. I require proper medical treatment to regain my health to stand trial and prove my innocence.”

Copeland, while “begging (the judge for his) consideration,” said he would be responsible for the expenses incurred while he was out on bond.

Copeland, who is also charged with domestic violence, was scheduled to go to trial on Sept. 26; however, his attorney, Joe Sawyer Jr. of Coffee County, fell ill, and the case was continued.

Copeland’s current pass is set to expire Nov. 7 at 5 p.m. If his bond is not reduced, Copeland is to

report back to the county jail to await trail, which is

set for Mon., Nov. 14.

Editor’s note: There is no “South General Hospital” on record in Dothan or any part of Alabama.