Controversial Tow Truck Operator's Criminal Case Could Come to an End

By: Rex Ogburn
By: Rex Ogburn

Studdard is accused of illegally selling or junking vehicles that did not belong to him through his vehicle towing business.

Bay County Sheriff’s investigators charged him with auto theft, operating a chop shop, towing lien law violations, and unlawful possession of vehicle titles.

If Studdard is accepted into pre-trial Intervention, obeys its terms and stays out of trouble for a year, his record could be wiped clean.

This case has been controversial. After his initial arrest, court officials held Studdard's bond hearing over the phone, which kept him out of jail.

State Attorney Jim Appleman excused himself from the case because of personal relationships between Studdard and members of his staff. Gov. Jeb Bush first appointed State Attorney Curtis Golden of Pensacola, then he named State Attorney

Willie Meggs to handle case. It's was Meggs’ office that recommended the pre-trial intervention program. There’s no word on when the court will approve or deny the recommendation.


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