BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – Tony Spell says his first stop with his “found” freedom is a trip to Atlanta where he will see his grandson for the first time.
For months, the Louisiana pastor’s travel was restricted due to criminal matters. Spell faced charges related to his defiance of state pandemic restrictions and additional charges after he allegedly backed a church bus towards a person protesting outside his church.
Charges in both incidents were formally dismissed at a hearing before 19th Judicial District Judge Eboni Johnson Rose on Wednesday, June 15.
“They were forced to say we were right all along,” Spell said in an interview Wednesday. “It was a huge win today.”
The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled in May that Louisiana’s pandemic restrictions violated Spell’s religious rights, effectively dismissing all criminal charges against Spell for ignoring those restrictions.
Charges related to the bus incident were allowed to expire without further action by the East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office, District Attorney Hillar Moore said.
Civil cases filed against the state and Governor John Bel Edwards are still pending in court.
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