Charges denied against lawyer accused of smuggling contraband into county jail

Charges denied against lawyer accused of smuggling contraband into county jail.{ } (WWMT/ Courtesy

A West Michigan lawyer accused of witness tampering and smuggling contraband into the Kalamazoo County Jail has been cleared by the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor's Office.

Back in May, the Newschannel3 I-Team first reported about the allegations against Geoffrey Upshaw after courtroom video showed a witness accusing Upshaw of witness tampering.

Amber Fox told prosecutors that she was wired money and told to lie on the stand. Fox was later charged with perjury.

The judge in the case said at the time that the allegations were some of the worst he's ever heard.

The Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office requested Upshaw be charged with bringing contraband into the county jail after a cellphone was found in the jail cell of his client Benjamin Shepard. The prosecutor's office has denied that charge.

Upshaw told prosecutors at the time that he received threats regarding the case.

"Basically, she (Amber Fox) alleges she was handed an envelope with a statement -- part of it in Mr. Shepard's writing, part of it later determined to be Mr. Upshaw's writing -- [that] told what to say at the preliminary hearing,” said Richard Barnard, assistant prosecuting attorney. "Mr. Upshaw told me this morning that he thinks it's a plot against him because of the threats he's been receiving.”

The Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office declined to comment on the story. Requests for comment to Upshaw have not been returned.