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*Judge: No arrest for Thomson ahead of hearing

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG -- Authorities can't arrest embattled attorney Paul H. Thomson, accused of violating bond conditions, until sides can argue their cases at a hearing next week, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Thomson, 56, of Winchester, remains free on bond on charges of evidence and witness tampering as well as possession of cocaine.

U.S. District Judge James P. Jones entered an order in federal court in Charlottesville denying a motion filed by prosecutors Monday seeking a warrant for Thomson's arrest.

Authorities have accused Thomson of violating the terms of his pre-trial release on bond by talking with his client, Lemuel L. Roberts, in a private jury room in Frederick County Circuit Court earlier this month, after prosecutors alleged the attorney may have interfered with a federal case involving the same defendant.

Jones referred the prosecutors' motion to revoke Thomson's bond to U.S. Magistrate Judge James G. Welsh, who then can schedule a hearing on the matter, the order states.

Jones also denied a defense motion filed that sought to vacate an order in place granting the prosecutors' request for disclosure of material presented to a grand jury. Thomson's attorneys had filed their motion Monday in response to the order entered by the magistrate.

The court has set a March 30 hearing in Harrisonburg on the motion to revoke bond.

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