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Rural Panhandle county rocked by sheriff's arrest

Posted at 8:09 PM, Jun 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-05 16:44:36-04

BRISTOL, Fla. (AP) — A rural Panhandle county is reeling with the arrest of its top law enforcement official.

Liberty County Sheriff Nick Finch is accused of intervening and having charges dropped against a county resident arrested for carrying a concealed weapon.

But Finch's defense could revolve around gun owner rights. Finch declined on Wednesday to answer questions based on advice from his attorney.

An arrest report, however, shows that Finch pushed to drop charges because he believes in "2nd Amendment rights."

Finch became sheriff a few months ago after beating the incumbent by less than 200 votes.

The sheriff's office came under scrutiny last year after it declared a resident had died from a suicide. A state investigation, however, could not determine whether the death was murder or suicide.