Charges dropped against sheriff's brother

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Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Hubert Rutherford

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Charges of felony domestic battery by strangulation, child abuse, aggravated assault and battery have been dropped against Hubert Rutherford, the brother of Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford.

He was arrested last month.

According to a police report, Hubert Rutherford, 49, came home intoxicated on Jan. 12 and got into a physical altercation with his daughter and her friend after they brought home a stray dog.

An officer said he found Rutherford's daughter walking down the road and she had a hand-shaped red mark on the left side of her face, as well as red marks and scratches on her neck.

Rutherford's daughter said her dad was yelling about the dog when he got home and grabbed her by the throat and began to choke her.

She said Rutherford's live-in girlfriend, 48-year-old Kari Reynolds, slapped her across the face.

Police said the friend defended Rutherford's daughter, then Rutherford chased his daughter and her friend out of the house with either a broom or a golf club.

Reynolds was also arrested after the altercation, and her charges have been dropped as well.

According to the state attorney's office, the case could not be filed based on a number of factors: injuries to both defendants, who have a self-defense claim, lack of cooperation by the victim's mother (the victim is 15 years old), the victim's minor injuries and her admission she beat defendant Reynolds so badly she called 911 to get Reynolds help. Also, there are no independent witnesses to the incident, according to the state attorney's office.

Prosecutors said because of those reasons, there is no reasonable probability of conviction.

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