Huntsville Magistrate pleads not guilty to menacing

Huntsville Magistrate pleads not guilty to menacing
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 6:08 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 25, 2022 at 12:47 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Huntsville City Magistrate Daniel Todd Cranor has pleaded not guilty to a menacing charge. Court documents show Cranor entered that plea on July 18th. Cranor is set to appear for a bench trial date on Aug. 16th at 2:30 p.m. in the Madison County Courthouse.

Cranor was placed on administrative leave by the city on July 13th which is unrelated to his menacing charge. Sources involved say he was escorted out of the City Municipal Building for violating city policy.

According to city employees who have contacted WAFF and sources inside the municipal building, Cranor was escorted off property after he was found with a loaded gun and knife.

Sources say when Cranor showed up for work Wednesday morning, the gun and knife were discovered on him. Possession of a gun inside the building is a violation of city policy.

This is now the second alleged incident of Cranor having a gun on city property.

Cranor’s menacing charge stems from a confrontation where a man claims the City Magistrate put him in fear of his life. Cranor is accused of pulling a gun on the man identified as Bobby Lee.

The reported confrontation happened just after 3 a.m. on May 21, in the parking lot of Huntsville Police Headquarters, outside the municipal court building where Huntsville City Magistrate Daniel Cranor works.

Bobby Lee says while looking for his wife, he found both Cranor and his wife in a truck engaged in a sex act. Lee says Cranor hopped out of his truck and approached him with a gun in hand.

After being directed to the county magistrate due to the conflict of interest, Lee swore out a warrant against Daniel Cranor for menacing. He turned himself into the police on June 16.

Cranor turned himself in for a menacing charge.
Cranor turned himself in for a menacing charge.(Madison County Sherriff's Office)

Cranor contacted WAFF after the original story aired saying his reaction that night was in self-defense. He said Mr. Lee blocked his truck and opened his door. He said he believed Bobby Lee was armed.

Lee says he was only armed with a cellphone to record the confrontation.

Cranor declined an on-camera interview.

“I know the difference between a cell phone and if I was going to do something to them, it would have been when I opened the doors up,” Lee said.

Weeks ago, when asked about Cranor’s employment status with the city of Huntsville, a spokesperson said this was a legal matter and no further comment would be issued. However, the city later released that Cranor has been employed as a City Magistrate for two years. Adding, Cranor was not working or on-call the night of the alleged incident on city property.

Once WAFF 48 looked into Cranor’s past, we discovered an arrest while he was a Secret Service Agent doing security ahead of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Provo Utah.

Police say the incident involved a hotel party with underage drinking and assault allegations. Cranor was convicted of disorderly conduct and sentenced to 30 hours of community service.

“It just tells me he shouldn’t be in the position he’s in. Not only that, he’s the magistrate there and he’s supposed to be doing the bonds for people that are bad and he’s in a city parking lot of the municipal building where he works,” said Lee.