District Attorney Fred Bright asked Superior Court Judge Trent Brown to nolle pros the charges March 14, and the two defendants in the case who remained in the Jones County Law Enforcement Center, Chad Nicholson and Mandy Bryant, were released later that afternoon. The 10 other defendants whose charges were dropped had been released on bond.
Two of the lower tier defendants had already pled guilty to the RICO charges. Carey Anderson Stokes pled guilty June 28, 2012, and Larry Grady Favor pled Aug. 17, 2012. Both defendants received five years probation but Bright said he does not think the ruling will affect their sentences.
“I don’t think it will matter. Once you plead guilty, you waive your defense, but I’m sure there will be a test case somewhere. We can expect that will be coming,” he said.
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