By Lee Hedgepeth
Alabama Political Reporter
After a court battle lasting since April 2013, all criminal charges against former State Senator Lowell Barron have been dropped. Barron, a Fyffe Democrat, was indicted last year along with his campaign staffer for alleged misuse of campaign funds.
AG Strange and former Senator Barron’s attorney, Joe Espy, have, since the arrest, participated in a back and forth legal flurry over the case.
Espy, on Barron’s behalf, sought to suppress mention of any possible romantic relationship between the Senator and the staffer/co-defendant, Rhonda Jill Johnson, who is also set to be released once the proper paperwork is filed.
Sen. Barron even wanted evidence introduced showing an allegedly deviate relationship between the current AG and one of his female staffers, a request the Court frowned upon.
The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, however, unanimously agreed with Sen. Barron, saying that – as Strange’s office had conceded – the Attorney General’s prosecution was based on circumstantial evidence in campaign finance reports that would appear no different than ones by any politician, even Luther himself.
The State, however, appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court, but to no avail. Unanimously, the Alabama Supreme Court upheld the lower court decision, ultimately ruling the same way on every evidentiary issue.
According to the Department of Corrections, Barron and Johnson will likely be released once the agreements are signed and authorized (a formality) by Circuit Judge Randall Cole.