Sitting as judge and jury, Superior Court Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. acquitted two former parole officers of all charges this afternoon.
Joshua Stephens and Terrell Yelverton were indicted on charges of false imprisonment and making false statements for their actions during three incidents from late 2004 through December 2005. They testified this week that they considered their actions justified in order to either do their jobs or to protect themselves from potential violence.
Mr. Stephens was fired in March 2006 after an internal investigation by the Board of Pardons and Paroles. Mr. Yelverton resigned in lieu of firing the same month.
Mr. Stephens, whose father is the sheriff of Emanuel County, is a deputy sheriff there. Mr. Yelverton went back to school and earned a degree in nursing.