Former Prestonsburg Mayor Jerry Fannin has asked to enter an Alford plea to a federal theft charge with a deal that is likely to result in no jail time. Fannin’s Attorney, Ned Pillersdorf, filed a motion for re-arraignment, in order to allow his client to enter an Alford plea, which functions as a guilty plea, but differs in that the defendant maintains his innocence while admitting that the sufficient evidence in the case that would/could likely persuade a jury to find him guilty. Pillersdorf, says prosecutors and the judge have indicated they will accept an Alford plea and would not oppose a sentence of probation. Pillersdorf says the Alford plea is appropriate in this case, because of Fannin’s current health condition due to lingering effects of a pair of strokes he suffered in 2016, which Pillersdorf said has left Fannin with no memory of the charges against him. In 2017 Fannin was found competent to stand trial after a psychologist testified that he was exaggerating the severity of his mental impairment on tests. Fannin is charged with 1 count of theft from an agency receiving federal funds and accused of diverting city money and services to the former East Kentucky Drillers football franchise, while he was mayor of Prestonsburg.
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