UPDATE: Liberty County Sheriff Nick Finch found not guilty; immediately reinstated into office
UPDATE (October 31, 2013 - 3:45 P.M.)
BRISTOL, Fla. (AP) — Former Liberty County Sheriff Nick Finch has been immediately reinstated into office by Governor Rick Scott.
The announcement was made Thursday afternoon, just hours after an eight-person found Finch not guilty of charges of official misconduct and falsifying public records.
Finch had been on trial for several days.
The eight-person jury handed down the non guilty verdict shortly after noon on Thursday, October 31.
Finch was arrested in June of this year by agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and later suspended by Governor Rick Scott.
The charges filed against Finch stemmed from the arrest earlier in the year of Floyd Eugene Parrish. He was arrested by a deputy for carrying a concealed weapon. Finch reportedly released Parrish from jail. Prosecutors say they believe Finch then destroyed jail documents pertaining to Parrish's arrest.
Finch has all along maintained that he had done nothing wrong and releasing Parrish only in an act to protect a citizen's second amendment rights.
Gun right advocates began protesting Governor Rick Scott's office after Finch's arrest and suspension.
In July Governor Scott appointed Walter "Buddy" Money has the interim Liberty County Sheriff.