GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Criminal mischief charges have been dismissed against three Marshall County deputies accused of damaging political campaign signs in 2014.
The judge issued an order based on a motion during a status hearing at the Marshall County Courthouse Friday morning.
The criminal mischief cases against the deputies and a civilian are dismissed upon payment of court costs.
Deputies Chris Bearden, Jeremiah McCormack, and Heath Thomas were not in court Friday.
“The result we have was justice was served, and my clients were vindicated in this case,” defense attorney Tom Conwell says. Conwell represented two of the defendants.
The charges stemmed from allegations the four were involved in damages to ‘Chuck Ellis for Sheriff’ campaign signs in 2014.
Ellis was running against current Marshall County Sheriff Scott Walls at the time.
The three deputies were arrested in 2015 and put on paid administrative leave for a short time.
Co-campaign manager for the Ellis campaign Tonya Glassco signed the warrants. “I am very unsatisfied. Justice was not served at all. There’s a double standard when it’s against civilians and police,” Glassco said following the hearing.
“The sign case I’m okay with, but the harassment part I am not okay with,” Glassco says. Thomas was also charged with harassment. Glassco says Thomas “shouldered” her while she was working for the Ellis campaign at an event, causing her to lose her balance. She says “an apology” for that alleged act was not what she was hoping for.
“Really, all the facts together that the prosecution had, they just decided that it would be better if they could resolve it outside the courtroom, and that’s what happened, and that was at the request of the prosecution witness, Mr. Ellis,” Conwell says.
Chuck Ellis released a statement to WHNT News 19: “I’ve spoken with the deputies. They know how I feel. I know where they stand. As long as they learn from this and move forward, we’re all the better. If they don’t and err again, we have a starting point for their pattern of behavior.”
Prosecutors say they expected this dismissal based on an agreement reached late last year.
The prosecution and the presiding judge were two of the officials brought in from out of the county to work this case.