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DA opts not to try Harris for third time on theft charge

District Attorney General Tony Clark announced he will not be pursuing a third trial for the charge of theft over $1,000 against former Unicoi County sheriff Kent Harris, during a phone interview on Jan. 9.
The state’s case alleged Harris exercised control over $4,500, which Harris said during the trial was reserved for training a search and rescue bloodhound named Buford.
Clark said he and defense attorneys Stacy Street and James Bowman discussed the retrial with Honorable Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood around noon on Jan. 9 in Washington County.
“We went ahead then and made the announcement that I would not be trying that case again,” Clark said. “It’s just the theft case that we will not be trying again.”
Clark said Street, Bowman and himself were expecting a hearing to be set on Jan. 15, which was the original deadline given to Clark to make his decision.
“That was not the case,” Clark said. “Judge Blackwood had only given us that date as a date to let him know if I was going to retry this case or not. He was not going to appear on Jan. 15.”
Blackwood requested Clark, Street and Bowman to convene on Jan. 29 in Washington County for the purpose of completing paperwork to completely dismiss the charge of theft over $1,000 against Harris and discuss plans for future trials.

For the remainder of this article please see the Jan 15, 2013 edition of The Erwin Record.