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DA says no to third trial for former sheriff Harris on theft charge

Brad Hicks, NET News Service • Jan 9, 2013 at 3:05 AM

ERWIN — District Attorney General Tony Clark said Wednesday his office will not retry former Unicoi County sheriff Kent Harris on a charge of theft of $1,000.

Clark announced his decision before Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood, who was previously appointed to oversee Harris' criminal court proceedings, on Wednesday in Washington County Criminal Court. It was alleged that Harris pocketed $4,500 in county funds for two vehicles that were donated to the Unicoi County Sheriff's Department. The theft charge was one of 10 felonies a Unicoi County grand jury indicted Harris on in October 2011.

Harris has twice been tried on the theft charge, with both trials ending in hung juries after the juries assigned to them failed to reach unanimous verdicts. After the second trial, which ended on Dec. 14, Blackwood gave Clark's office until Jan. 15 to decide if it would try Harris for a third time on the charge.

Read more at the Johnson City Press.

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