Trial delayed for 911 tape review

Friday, May 17, 2002

A bench trial of a Cape Girardeau man charged with holding his family hostage with a handgun was delayed Thursday after the judge asked to hear a crucial 911 tape recording.

Cleties Ford, 39, is charged with three counts of false imprisonment and one count each of unlawful use of a weapon and domestic assault. Police and Ford's family members both agree that on March 6, the Cape Girardeau Police Department received a 911 call from inside Ford's home, placed by a friend of the family.

But the two sides differ on the content of that call. Ford's relatives say it was simply to get assistance for a troubled Cleties Ford. Police say they went to 1825 Dumais Drive expecting a hostage situation.

Missouri law prohibits making 911 tapes public, so the tape in question won't be played in open court.

Cape Girardeau County assistant prosecuting attorney Angel Woodruff said the trial was continued until June 5, when the defense is expected to present its case.

Circuit Judge John Grimm will decide the matter.

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