Suspended Sheriff Nick Finch Takes the Witness Stand

By: Bergen Baucom Email
By: Bergen Baucom Email

BRISTOL - Wednesday marked the third day of court for suspended Liberty County Sheriff, Nick Finch, who is facing charges of official misconduct and falsifying public records.

For charges of official misconduct, the state has had to prove Finch was acting with corrupt intent.

"The point is, [Floyd Parrish has] got mental illnesses- that's what schizophrenia is," Assistant State Attorney, Jack Campbell said to Floyd's brother, Lloyd Parrish. "So," Campbell continued, "when he got caught with a pistol in his pocket, the fact that you had campaigned and supporting Nick Finch was helpful as far as getting [Floyd Parrish] out of that jail."

Defense Attorney Larry Simpson requested Finch's case be acquitted. For one reason, Simpson argued:

"It has been testified to by several witnesses- that the state put on [the stand]- that the sheriff has told everybody who asked him that, the reason why he did what he did was because of his belief in the second amendment. Whether his belief in the second amendment is a good belief or a bad belief- or, whether anybody believes in it or does not agree with it- it does not establish the request that the corrupt statute- official misconduct- requires."

The defense has maintained no proof has been submitted showing Finch falsified any of Floyd Parrish's arrest records. They also argued that because the records were not entirely filled out and Parrish was never fully booked into the Liberty County Jail, the records didn't even qualify as public.

In his own defense, Finch took the whiteness stand.

"You take [the responsibility] all the way until you have to take responsibility for your own actions, isn't that right," Campbell asked.

"I do not believe I broke the law," he replied.

"You believe that you took somebody out of jail and did something only you had the power to do? And then, just completely separate and unrelated, you believe somebody else went in and destroyed all the records? That's what you expect this jury to believe" Campbell asked.

"Mr. Campbell, I cant tell you what happened to the records," Finch responded.

Campbell replied, "and you agree that you're the person who went in and took him out of that jail.

"Yes sir."

"And you agree that there should have been some documentation to the fact that he was in that jail?"

"I would agree with that," Finch said.

"And you agree that you're the only person who would have any reason to destroy or hide what you had done that night when some political supporters called you and asked you to get their schizophrenic brother out of jail?"

Finch's attorney's objected and Judge William Gary sustained their objection.

Closing arguments were expected to begin Thursday.


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