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Bond denied for driver in assault on deputy

[3/16/04]Bond has formally been denied for the man accused of intentionally running down a Warren County Sheriff’s Deputy in February.

Warren County Court Judge Johnny Price issued a one-page order Monday holding Ronald Vaughn, 23, in jail until the next term of the grand jury in May. Vaughn is charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and faces up to 30 years in prison.

Vaughn is also being held on charges of probation violation from a 1999 conviction of shooting into an occupied dwelling. He faces an additional charge from an armed robbery arrest in September.

He was jailed in Hinds County on Feb. 9 after being arrested at the scene where Deputy Mike Hollingsworth was injured. Hollingsworth was directing traffic for a funeral procession on U.S. 80 and witnesses have said Vaughn careened a Buick sedan around the procession and into the deputy.

Last week, Price heard testimony from Hollingsworth’s father, Jack Hollingsworth, who was Vaughn’s probation officer and from witnesses at the funeral. Price found probable cause to hold Vaughn for the grand jury in the pretrial hearing.

Jackson attorney Chokwe Lumumba, representing Vaughn, said it was an accident and had asked for bond.

Vaughn has not testified in either of the two hearings since his arrest and has made no public statements.

Hollingsworth, 38, has shown some improvement and is undergoing physical therapy at Methodist Rehabilitation in Jackson, according to family spokesman Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace.

“We’re all very pleased that Mike appears to be responding to physical therapy, and we hope and pray that he will continue to improve,” Pace said.

Hollingsworth was standing near his patrol car at the entrance to Green Acres Memorial Park when struck. The Buick ended up in a ravine adjacent to the cemetery. Hollingsworth was initially taken to River Region Medical Center but was transferred to the neurological intensive care unit at University Medical Center because of head injuries.

He remained unconscious in the ICU for two weeks and, according to family members, he still has limited speech abilities.

Vaughn had been held under a state statute that allows a suspect to be held until the extent of a victim’s injuries is determined.