Saffold waives arraignment, pleads not guilty

Published 4:45 pm Friday, January 31, 2014

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

Former Hayneville Middle School janitor Lee Andrew Saffold, 47, of Hayneville, who was indicted by a Lowndes County grand jury on charges of sexual abuse second degree, enticing a child and sexual contact with a student, has entered a plea of not guilty.

Saffold did not appear in court before Circuit Court Judge Terri Bozeman Lovell Friday, but waived the right to an arraignment in which he would appear in person, and pleaded not guilty.

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According to Hayneville Police Chief Kelvin Mitchell, Saffold was arrested on Thursday, Oct. 24 for an alleged incident that occurred at Hayneville Middle School on Sept. 30 following a report by school officials to the Department of Human Resources.

Following the resignation of Saffold last October from the Lowndes County Public School System, Lowndes County School Superintendent Dr. Daniel Boyd said, “We did our internal investigation, and we did not find any evidence to corroborate what the student was saying.”

Lowndes County District Court Judge Adrian D. Johnson bound Lee Saffold over to the Lowndes County grand jury on Tuesday, Dec. 17.

Saffold was indicted on the original charges by the grand jury on Jan. 13 and was indicted on the additional charge of sexual contact with a student for which his bond was set at $2,500, according to Lowndes County Circuit Court Clerk Ruby Jones-Thomas.

Saffold previously made bond prior to the indictments of $7,500 for enticing a child and $2,500 for sexual abuse second degree, she said.

Thomas and officials at the John Hulett Detention Center said Saffold was arrested on the additional charge of sexual contact with with a student and made bond of $2,500 for that charge on Jan. 16.

Also not appearing in court, waiving the right to an arraignment in which he would have to appear in person and pleading not guilty on Friday was Dennis Lee Tucker, 29, of Tyler, who was indicted on Jan. 13 on charges of rape first degree and rape second degree.
Tucker is currently being held in the John Hulett Detention Center, according to a jail official.