Headlines News

Back to jail

No new charges,but Digmon ‘reprocessed’ into ECDC

Digmon leaves the jail after being booked again.

Atmore News Staff

Although no new charges were filed against her and she didn’t have to spend any time behind bars, a legal technicality forced Atmore News Publisher and Co-owner Sherry Digmon — who also represents District 6 on the county school board — to go through the Escambia County Detention Center booking process — again — Monday afternoon, February 12.
And she admits she was more than a little surprised by the latest trip to the county lockup.
“I thought I was going to drop off paperwork about my property bond and was going to be served additional paperwork that had to do with my bond being reduced,” she said after leaving the jail. “I had no idea I was going to be arrested again and go through the mug shot and fingerprint process all over again, no idea.”
Digmon was asked to come to the county jail for what she was told would be a “walkthrough” that would take only a few minutes. She appeared at the jail at 2 p.m., without legal representation, and was instead taken through the entire booking process, including collection of a third mug shot and a third set of fingerprints. She was “in custody” for 58 minutes and had to pay a $35 bond fee.
In a bit of irony, the latest trip to Brewton became necessary when Digmon’s $100,000 property bond on the ethics violation charge was suddenly lowered, without her knowledge, to $50,000.
The newspaper publisher was also under a $10,000 bond after she and reporter Don Fletcher were arrested on a charge of revealing grand jury secrets. According to the Consolidated Appearance Bond issued Monday, both charges against Digmon are now covered under the same bond.
The whole ordeal has her baffled.
“Why was my bond reduced?” she said. “I didn’t ask for my bond to be reduced, and I don’t know why it was. And why would the grand jury charge and the ethics charge be on the same bond?”
Brewton defense attorney Earnest A. White, who is defending Digmon on both charges and Fletcher on the grand jury secrets charge, said such action was “a procedural thing” that occurs when a bond amount is raised or reduced.
The latest legal action comes as the journalists await a February 26 hearing on the grand jury secrets charge. The two were arrested October 27, 2023, two days after a story about a grand jury investigation into the school system’s handling of federal COVID-19 relief funds appeared in the weekly newspaper.
White said his office has already filed a motion asking that retired Autauga County Circuit Judge Ben Fuller, who was assigned by Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Parker to hear the case, dismiss the charge against Fletcher. A similar motion on Digmon’s behalf was to be filed Tuesday, February 13, he said.
Fuller is expected to rule on the separate motions during the upcoming hearing, at which representatives of at least one national journalistic advocacy group, as well attorneys who specialize in Constitutional law and other interested parties, may be in attendance.