Bridges to remain in jail until sentencing

  • Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 9:50 a.m.
    UPDATED: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 11:31 a.m.
John Knox Bridges.
John Knox Bridges.

CHARLOTTE — John Knox Bridges will remain in prison until sentencing, a federal court judge decided at a hearing this morning in Charlotte.

Bridges, who did not appear for his sentencing hearing in federal court last Friday, was found last Saturday night at Maupin Avenue Presbyterian Church with a gun.

During the hearing this morning, it was revealed that the 52-year-old was found in a women’s bathroom in the church with a shotgun and a suicide note.

His mother, Jeanie Bridges, told police on Friday that he left the home at 1 p.m. last Friday, saying he was going to Charlotte for sentencing. In court this morning, it came out that at 2 p.m. last Friday, he called back and apologized to his mother “for all the trouble he had caused.”

When police arrived at the church, they found a soft gun case in the back of the Volvo Bridges had been driving. Police and his mother talked him down.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office will determine whether Bridges will get a criminal contempt charge for failing to appear in court last Friday. The judge called it a “clear violation” of a court order.

Bridges will remain in a Mecklenburg County jail until the sentencing hearing. The date of the hearing will be set when the victims agree upon a date when all can be in court.

The judge lashed out at defense attorney Rahwa Gebre-Egziabher, saying she was “hiding behind attorney-client privilege” when the attorney refused to explain Bridges’ whereabouts to the court Friday.

“I think it exacerbated a dangerous situation that ultimately law enforcement had to encounter the next day,” the judge said.

Bridges pleaded guilty last February to running a $2.3 million Ponzi scheme, defrauding co-workers and longtime friends.

Bridges, of South Ellis Street, also admitted to taking $600,000 from the North Carolina Transporation Museum Foundation while serving as a member of the board.

Check Thursday’s Post for more information.

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