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Local businessman arrested on fugitive warrant

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By The Staff

A local businessman has been arrested on an out-of-state fugitive warrant and charged with writing a nearly $200,000 cold check to an automobile dealer in Michigan.

James R. Rattliff, 42, of 122 Cambridge Way was arrested by Campbellsville Police Officer Bart Gilpin at 10 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 4 at Ratliff Motors.

Court records pertaining to Rattliff's arrest, however, were not filed at the Taylor Circuit Clerk's office until Thursday, Feb. 7.

According to local court records, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office in Monroe, Mich. filed a warrant for Rattliff's arrest on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

A week later, Taylor District Judge Connie S. Phillips issued a fugitive warrant for Rattliff's arrest. No bond was set at the time.

According to Black's law dictionary, a fugitive arrest warrant allows law enforcement officers to arrest a person who has fled from one state to another to avoid prosecution.

When another state issues an arrest warrant for a person living in Kentucky, according to Taylor County Attorney Craig Cox, local law enforcement agencies may issue a fugitive arrest warrant based on the other state's warrant. Once the fugitive warrant has been served, Cox said, the defendant can either waive extradition and return to the other state voluntarily or have an extradition hearing in which a court can order the person to return to the other state. During that time period, Cox said, a bond is set.

Court records state Phillips later agreed to set a $100,000 cash or $300,000 property bond for Rattliff. A property bond was posted on Wednesday, Feb. 6.

The charge on Rattliff's Michigan arrest warrant, according to Taylor Circuit Court records, stems from an automobile auction on Aug. 22, 2007, in Michigan.

According to the Michigan arrest warrant, Rattliff is accused of writing a check to Detroit Auto Auction when he did not have the funds to pay for the check.

According to Monroe County Sheriff's Department Deputy Kurt Potratz, Rattliff wrote a check for about $197,000 to pay for several vehicles purchased at an auction.

Potratz said Ratliff turned himself in to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, Feb. 14. A Monroe County judge then released Rattliff on his own recognizance, Potratz said.

Potratz said the case will proceed with Rattliff appearing in a Michigan court for a preliminary hearing. He said he did not know a specific date for the hearing, but if Rattliff does not appear, a judge will likely issue another warrant for his arrest.

Potratz said Rattliff could face as much as a year in jail and may be ordered to pay full restitution, which Potratz says is the No. 1 goal in the case.

"He bought a bunch of cars and wrote a bad check," Potratz said.

Taylor Circuit Court records state Rattliff's case is scheduled for review in Taylor District Court on Wednesday, March 12 at 9 a.m.