By: Lanetra Bennett October 30, 2013, 2:40 pm
Finch was on stand for about an hour this afternoon. He says he released Parrish because of his personal belief in the 2nd amendment.
The prosecutor said he can’t pick and choose which laws to uphold, but Finch says his opinion hasn’t changed.
Finch constantly said he did not destroy arrest records, and said he never saw any arrest logs. He said he didn’t white out Parrish’s name on arrest logs nor instructed anyone to.
The defense rested at 2:30, and the court was on break until 2:45.
By: Lanetra Bennett October 30, 2013, 1:00 pm
The State has rested after calling its two witnesses today.
The defense made a motion for judgement of acquittal, and says that there is insufficient evidence to prove official misconduct or altering public records.
Defense attorneys say former Liberty County Sheriff, Nick Finch did not show corrupt intent when he released a man from jail back on March 8th.
The man was charged with having concealed weapons without a permit. The defense says Finch let the man out of jail because Finch believes in the Second Amendment. The attorneys say, thus, that is not corrupt intent.
The judge denied the motion and said it will be left for the jury to decide. The State says saying you’re doing something for the Second Amendment is not a cure all. Prosecutors say that’s not a legal defense.
The defense called the brother of the man arrested to the stand. Lloyd Parrish testified that then Sheriff Finch told him to meet him at the jail at 8:00 that night. Parrish says he and another brother went inside the jail with the sheriff.
He says the sheriff gave Floyd Parrish a stern talk about not having a permit for his two guns that were found in his truck. The brother says the sheriff said he’ll let Floyd Parrish out if he promised to get permits. Lloyd Parrish says all three brothers walked out of the jail with the sheriff.
By: Lanetra Bennett October 30, 2013, 10:30 am
Bristol, FL — Day two is underway in the trial of Nick Finch, former Liberty County Sheriff. Finch is accused of covering up the arrest of a Floyd Parrish, who was caught with concealed weapons.
The first to take the stand was a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) inspector who testified that Parrish’s name was “whited out” on the jail log sheet.
As the trial continues, stay with WCTV Eyewitness News and wctv.tv for updates.
By: Lanetra Bennett October 29, 2013
Bristol, FL – Testimony began today in the official misconduct trial of the former Liberty County Sheriff. Nick Finch is accused of covering up the arrest of a man caught with concealed weapons.
Floyd Parrish was the first person to take the stand Tuesday morning. He told the court that he was arrested for having two guns in his truck, handcuffed, and taken to jail.
But, only a couple of hours later, the sheriff walked in, and Parrish walked out with him.
Nick Finch is accused of destroying or altering documentation of that arrest in Liberty County back on March 8th.
During trial Tuesday, Parrish admitted that he had a concealed gun on the truck seat and a gun in his pants pocket when he got pulled over.
He says Finch told him how to get permits for his guns, then released him from jail.
Finch has maintained that he was protecting the second amendment right to bear arms.
Richard Mack attended the first day of trial. He he the former sheriff in Grand County, Arizona, and the founder of an organization called Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. Mack calls Finch a hero and says Finch should not be on trial.
Mack says, “It should’ve been a little clarification; should’ve been a little education; should’ve been some communication between the State and sheriff Finch, and this thing should’ve been over. But, somebody’s been after this man. If you ask me, it’s a witch hunt.”
The jailer, Lisa Smith, testified that Finch took the arrest file with him when he released Parrish from jail, and that Parrish’s name was whited out on the arrest log.
The trial will continue Wednesday. Eyewitness News and wctv.tv will keep you posted.
Associated Press Release
BRISTOL, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors say suspended Liberty County Sheriff Nick Finch tried to orchestrate a cover-up in order to hide his decision to intervene in a gun case in this small rural county.
But during opening statements on Tuesday an attorney for Finch said that the state had little proof that Finch destroyed or altered public records connected to the case.
Finch was first elected in November 2012 and is on trial for official misconduct and falsifying public records.
Finch has said he believes in 2nd Amendment gun rights and freed Floyd Eugene Parrish after one of his deputies arrested Parrish for carrying a gun without a concealed weapons permit.
Finch’s trial has attracted attention among conservative media outlets and gun rights activists. It also has divided this county just west of Tallahassee.
By: Lanetra Bennett
The trial has begun for Nick Finch, a former Liberty County sheriff accused of official misconduct and falsifying public records.
Floyd Parrish was the first to take the stand, and testified that he was pulled over, cuffed, put in back seat of patrol car, and taken to jail. He then said that Finch arrived a couple of hours later and let him out.
The second to testify was the arresting deputy who testified that he arrested Parrish because he had two guns without permits.
Associated Press Release
BRISTOL, Fla. (AP) — Opening arguments are scheduled to start in the trial of a former Panhandle sheriff accused of official misconduct and falsifying public records.
Prosecutors on Tuesday are expected to tell jurors that Nick Finch intervened in a case where one of his deputies arrested a resident for carrying a pistol without a concealed weapons permit. They contend Finch altered or destroyed records connected to the case.
Finch was elected Liberty County sheriff in November 2012. Gov. Rick Scott suspended him this past June.
Finch’s attorneys will assert that the sheriff let the man go because he is a believer in 2nd Amendment gun rights.
The case has attracted attention among some conservative media outlets and gun rights activists. It has also divided this small rural county just west of Tallahassee.
Associated Press Release By GARY FINEOUT
BRISTOL, Fla. (AP) — A suspended Panhandle sheriff is going on trial for corruption charges in a case that has divided a small rural county.
Nick Finch was arrested earlier this year on felony charges of official misconduct and falsifying public records. Finch was accused in intervening in a case where one of his deputies arrested a resident for carrying a pistol without a concealed weapons permit.
A jury was picked for the case Monday.
Finch’s attorneys will assert that the sheriff let the man go because he is a believer in 2nd Amendment gun rights. Prosecutors contend Finch does not have a right to ignore laws he does not believe in.
The case has attracted attention among some conservative media outlets and gun rights activists.
By: Emily Johnson September 30, 2013
Liberty County, FL – The former sheriff of Liberty County Nick Finch is set to stand trial at the end of next month.
He’s accused of freeing a man who’d been arrested on weapons charges and then altering jail record to reflect Floyd Parrish was never there.
Monday his attorney’s claimed no one can prove Finch whited out the logs himself or ordered anyone else to do it. They tried to convince a judge that the jail logs in question were not public records.
“I think it’s significant here that the log entries were never completed. For example on the booking log Mr. Parrish’s name and some of the other information was put in that log the date he was being booked was never entered by the jail,” says Defense Attorney Larry Simpson.
Both sides agreed that Sheriff Finch had the authority to let Parrish go, but prosecutors argued that the logs were public records and they should be able to argue to the jury those should never have been altered.
Now it’s up to a jury to decide if the former sheriff falsified or destroyed public records.
“What’s important about today’s ruling is that it’s going to go to a jury and they’re going to be able to hear the facts and the truth of what happen,” says State Attorney Jack Campbell.
The jury selection starts October 27Th and the trial begins October 28Th.