MONTAGUE COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — The defense began calling witnesses in the official oppression trial of suspended Clay County Sheriff Jeff Lyde in the Montague County Courthouse on Thursday, September 14, 2023.

Presiding Special Judge Lee Gabriel halted proceedings and sent the jury out while she questioned the defense about the testimony of one of their key witnesses.

The witness is an attorney from Fort Worth who said on the stand that, in his opinion, ignorance of the law is the best defense for the defendant.

Gabriel advised the defense that the testimony was an opinion and could confuse the jury.

Earlier, the defense called Wilbarger County District Attorney Investigator Jeff Case to testify about his efforts in gathering evidence from Lyde for the special prosecutor, District Attorney Staley Heatly.

Case said he believed Lyde tried to withhold documents and tried to intimidate him, and he advised him to talk to his attorney.

He alleged that Lyde told him he had high-powered lawyers and would make everyone involved in the case against him look like fools.

Case said Lyde even told him to climb back under the rock he came from.

Lyde is being tried for official oppression involving the alleged illegal jailing of a Henrietta couple and for allegedly withholding a document in the case.

This is a developing story. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage for updates as more information becomes available. All individuals charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.