01:23 PM PST on Saturday, February 23, 2008
SAN BERNARDINO - A plea agreement for the son of former San Bernardino County Sheriff Floyd Tidwell was withdrawn Friday during a court hearing for eight people indicted last year on charges involving the bail-bond industry.
Danial Blayne "Boone" Tidwell, and his attorney, Grover Porter, declined to comment after emerging from a San Bernardino County courtroom, where they had been scheduled to be arraigned. The arraignment was delayed until May 2 by Superior Court Judge Colin Bilash.
Tidwell, 53, and his wife, Shirley Lorraine Tidwell, 47, were among 15 people indicted Dec. 6 by a special criminal grand jury investigating a kickback scheme among bail companies in San Bernardino County.
It was the second time arraignment for the eight defendants in the Tidwell case had been delayed. It originally had been set for Dec. 15.
Outside the courtroom, Deputy District Attorney Bill Lee declined to discuss the plea agreement.
"An offer had been conveyed to Danial Tidwell," Lee said. "It would have been open until today...but it has been withdrawn."
Fifteen people were indicted in three cases by a special criminal grand jury in December.
Most of the indicted had been criminally charged in January 2004 after a two-year district attorney's investigation into the kickback scheme.
The indictments allege that the 15 defendants were based in San Bernardino County and worked for Boone's Bail Bonds, Arzate Bail Bonds and the Bail Hotline.
Most of the charges involve unlawful solicitation, conspiracy for unlawful solicitation and filing false or forged documents.
In June 2003, authorities served 13 search warrants as part of the investigation. Fourteen weapons were found at Danial Tidwell's home in Phelan.
They included two rifles reported stolen from the Fontana Police Department in 1999, two machine-gun pistols banned under the California assault-weapons ban and a rifle and a shotgun belonging to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
Investigators connected the weapons to former Sheriff Floyd Tidwell, who served from 1983 to 1991.
He was sentenced in November 2004 to three years unsupervised probation on four misdemeanor charges related to concealing the 14 weapons. He paid $10,000 in restitution.
Tidwell's other son, Steven Wayne Tidwell, 60, accepted a plea bargain in February 2004, agreeing to surrender his bail-bond license and testify for the prosecution.
Reach John F. Berry at 909-806-3058 or jberry@PE.com