LEE COUNTY, Ala. — This week former Auburn University Police Lieutenant, Dennis Rae Ledbetter had his preliminary hearing. Lee County Judge, Russell Bush found enough evidence to bound the case over to a grand jury.
Lee County District Attorney, Brandon Hughes, said that the first grand jury is the week of March 6 and the next one is in April. Hughes said that their priority is to take care of those currently sitting in jail, adding that since Ledbetter is out on $90,000 bond, he is not a priority case.
Hughes said the grand jury will sit for a week or two and hear 300 to 350 cases, which are not full hearings. A case agent will come in and present evidence that has been uncovered and explain why an arrest was made. Hughes said that if the grand jury of 18 people vote to indict, his office will be ready to proceed to trial. Hughes added that they will handle this case just like any other.
“Even though he was a police officer, and served in law enforcement in some capacity, that doesn’t affect how we proceed with the case,” Hughes said “Someone told me that nobody is above the law, and nor is anyone beneath it. I’ve had to prosecute a mayor, deputy sheriffs, chiefs of police. This is not something that is going to affect how we proceed one way or the other.”
Ledbetter was arrested by the Auburn Police Division in December on three felony warrants charging him with three counts of possession child pornography. In November, information from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children showed that images of child pornography were downloaded to a computer on Auburn’s campus. It ended up being a total of more than 800 images.
The computer was later traced to Ledbetter. Once authorities had permission to search his computer, it was learned that 800 plus images had been deleted from the computer. Ledbetter also had flash drives with more than 5,000 suspected images of child pornography along with more than 100 videos.