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Ex-Sheriff’s Sentencing Is Delayed

Times Staff Writer

Former San Bernardino County Sheriff Floyd Tidwell’s sentencing on felony gun charges was delayed until Nov. 30 after a county judge heard nearly three hours of arguments Thursday about whether the charges should be reduced to misdemeanors.

Tidwell allegedly stole at least 523 guns from the Sheriff’s Department evidence rooms while he was in office, and in May pleaded guilty to four felony counts of concealing stolen property. In a plea agreement with prosectors, Tidwell was fined and was to avoid jail time if he cooperated with the ongoing search for more than 400 of the missing weapons. Prosecutors agreed to reduce the felonies to misdemeanors if he cooperated.

On Thursday, Deputy Dist. Atty. Cheryl Kersey argued against that reduction, telling the judge that Tidwell had been uncooperative, had sought to capitalize on his stature and had pursued special treatment from current Sheriff Gary Penrod.

Tidwell and his attorney say the former sheriff must have the felony reduced, because he wants to retain his personal stockpile of guns to protect himself and his family from criminals he “put away.”

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Superior Court Judge J. Michael Welch said he would review the case and felony-misdemeanor law before deciding Tidwell’s fate.


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