The U.S. Attorney's Office has filed a motion to dismiss the pending indictment in the United States v. Larry Deen and Clinton Blakey.

The former sheriff and Blakey, a used car dealer, were indicted for criminal conspiracy and federal program theft. U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Foote will rule on the motion.

According to a news release from U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley's office, Deen and Blakey were set to go to trial August 15. As the government was preparing for that on June 16, a key witness died unexpectedly. The government reassessed the remaining admissable evidence in the case and determined there was sufficient proof to proceed to trial.

However, on August 4, a second key witness retracted previous statements made during the course of the investigation. The government now believes its ability to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt has been seriously jeopardized.

"I have authorized the prosecutors in this case to seek dismissal of the pending charges based on evidentiary developments in this case," Finley said. "I am mindful of our obligation to continually assess the evidence in our possession in light of our burden of proof, and to ensure that the interests of justice are met."

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