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Former Councilman Pleads Not Guilty

Posted at 12:50 PM, Mar 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-09 13:52:23-05

A former Metro Councilman pled not guilty to charges that he and his cousin tried to keep the victim of a brutal domestic assault from testifying in court.

Loniel Greene, who resigned from his position in January, appeared briefly in court Wednesday morning but spoke only through his attorney.

READ MORE: Victim In Councilman Greene Scandal Comes Forward

“He feels bad. He’s lost his seat in the council, and he understands that and accepts it and he’s moved on,” said Sam Coleman, who's serving as Greene’s attorney.

The two also served on Metro City Council together during Greene’s brief tenure.

“He’s testified in open court that he may have used bad judgment in some cases, but those could be moral wrongs not necessarily legal wrongs,” Coleman added.

This came after bond was revoked for the cousin of Greene during a hearing in February.

Tavares Buchanan who allegedly beat his ex-girlfriend to within inches of her life had his $10,000 bond revoked February 9.  

Buchanan also pled not guilty to a coercion of a witness charge on Wednesday.

Buchanan was allowed to bond out of jail last year after his cousin, former Metro councilman Lionel Greene, put up the money for his release.

However, the court ruled there’s no way to prove that those funds did not come from an illegal source.

"Evidence speaks for itself. It’s very clear what the defendant [Buchanan] was trying to do from the moment he gets in jail. He’s trying to perpetrate two frauds on the court. One of which he succeeded in doing. The first fraud is to falsify his bond and the second fraud is to get his most powerful and influential family member [Loniel Greene] to work on the victim to not come to court and be a witness against him," Assistant District Attorney Jeff George argued back in February.

In a hearing held February 3, Greene admitted to lying under oath, and claimed the money came from a grocery bag containing $20,000 – that happened to be placed behind his mother’s sofa.

A judge said that while it's not illegal to have that much money hidden away behind a couch, he should have had proper tax documentation.

Buchanan and Greene have both been scheduled to be back in court April 21.