William Reuben Ebron is facing more criminal charges in Duval County FL. Ebron was arrested over a month ago after the disappearance of Lonzie Barton. He was charged with two counts of child neglect and giving false information to law enforcement officers in Jacksonville. Ebron’s bond was originally set at $100,000. He is now being held in the Duval County Jail without bond. First Coast News of Jacksonville reported:
“A judge revoked 32-year-old William ‘Ruben’ Ebron’s bond on three charges in connection to the disappearance of Lonzie Barton Monday morning. Ebron is now being held without bond on all charges, including attempted escape from jail. A Nebbia motion, which was filed by the State Attorney’s Office to ensure that any money used by Ebron to post bond was obtained legally, wouldn’t make any difference and so was denied. The State Attorney’s Office can file the motion again if bond is ever given to Ebron on any charge.”
This looks like it is just the beginning of the motions that the Duval County State Attorney’s Office will be filing in Ebron’s criminal case. The Jacksonville news article also stated the prosecution will seek to “take away his right to make jail calls and take away visitation.” Why is this state attorney making such a request? “Prosecutors say Ebron tried to contact a woman, who is the mother of his children, he was ordered to have no communication with 31 times within his first three weeks in jail.”
The woman that the article is referring to is not Lonzie Barton’s mother. Ebron is not Lonzie Barton’s father. Lonzie Barton’s mother is Lonna Lauramore Barton. Ebron was living with Lonna Barton. Lonna Barton was also arrested giving false information to law enforcement and child neglect in Jacksonville. Lonna Barton’s bond was set at $50,000, and she has posted bail.
While Lonna Barton and Rueben Ebron are charged with similar offenses, they will not have the same Jacksonville criminal lawyers. In fact, there is likely a conflict of interest for them to have the same Jacksonville criminal lawyers representing them. Ebron was arrested first. He was appointed an attorney from the Office of the Public Defender in Duval County. Less than a month later, Lonna Barton was arrested. She was also appointed a lawyer. Since an attorney from the Office of the Public Defender was already representing Ebron, her lawyer is from the Office of Regional Conflict Counsel in Jacksonville FL. Both the public defender and regional conflict counsel provide attorneys to indigent criminal defendants, as they cannot afford to hire a criminal defense lawyer.
While Ebron and Lonna Barton have been charged with child neglect of Lonzie Barton, police are investigating this case as a murder. First Coast News of Jacksonville stated:
“Last Friday, [Lonna Barton] gave an exclusive interview to First Coast News, saying she believed her son was still alive. That’s after investigators announced the child had been murdered, not abducted, as Ebron had told police on July 24 when he reported him missing. Surveillance video obtained from a neighbor’s home discredited that narrative, police said. ‘We are still full speed ahead at making a murder case, especially against Ruben Ebron,’ Hackney said.”
It is important to point out that each defendant has certain rights. There is the right to discovery. Both Ebron and Lonna Barton has a right to see the evidence and question the witnesses. They also have a right to a speedy trial. When it comes to Florida criminal felony cases, the defendant has the right to go to trial within 175 days of the arrest. A defendant can waive his or her right to speedy trial if it is in his or her best interest. Their Jacksonville criminal attorneys may also request a change of venue. Criminal defense attorneys will do this if they believe that there is no way the client will receive a fair trial in the county in which they were charged. This is certainly a possibility as there has been plenty of media attention in this case in Duval County FL.