Good News: Panhandle jury declares suspended Fla. sheriff not guilty of misconduct charges
BRISTOL, Florida — A Panhandle jury took roughly an hour on Thursday to declare suspended Liberty County Sheriff Nick Finch not guilty of misconduct stemming from his decision to intervene in a gun arrest.
Finch fought back tears as he hugged his wife and daughter following the acquittal on charges of official misconduct and falsifying public records, which carry a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment upon conviction. He later praised the six men and women who served on the jury during the three-day trial.
"This just proves Liberty County is a good place to live and raise your children," Finch said. "There are good people here."
Several hours after the verdict was reached, Gov. Rick Scott, who suspended Finch after his arrest, issued an executive order to immediately reinstate him.
Finch was arrested in June after prosecutors alleged he had destroyed official records related to the March arrest of Floyd Eugene Parrish. Parrish was arrested by one of Finch's deputies during a traffic stop for carrying a pistol in his pocket without a concealed weapons permit. Two hours later, Finch arrived at the jail and had Parrish released. Finch said he released Parrish because he did not believe state gun laws should trump the Second Amendment.
Black Blade: I love "Jury Nullification" cases. Especially when the jury is right. The US Constitution trumps local and state law and this is a blow for freedom.