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Former Alabama sheriff indictment reintstated

An appellate court has reinstated an indictment against a former Alabama Sheriff.

The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday reversed a judge’s decision dismissing an 11-count indictment against William Ray Norris, the former Clarke County Sheriff.  The court’s decision clears the way for Norris to go to trial on campaign finance and ethics charges.

The appellate court chose to reinstate the indictment because the judge in the case “erred in dismissing the charges based on Norris’ understanding that a state official promised he would not be prosecuted if he resigned from office,” according to Fox.

The sheriff’s attorney stated that Norris had come to a verbal understanding with the attorney general’s office that if he resigned he would not face prosecution.

The Alabama Attorney General’s office disagreed with Norris’ lawyer.

However, a circuit judge ruled that the sheriff and his attorney “reasonably believed the agreement existed and that Norris had relied on that belief to his detriment by resigning as sheriff,” appellate judges declared in their opinion.

The appellate court found that the “mere belief that he had been granted immunity” was not enough to dismiss the charges against the former sheriff.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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