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Criminal defense experts said federal authorities will be closely monitoring the parents of a missing Rowan County teenager while they await trial on 76 counts of fraud and theft.
Casey and Sandy Parsons were fitted with electronic monitoring systems Thursday at the federal Probation & Pre-Trial Services Office in their hometown of Fayetteville.
The Parsons also turned over a firearm that remained in their home following a search on Wednesday by FBI agents, per orders of a federal judge in court on Wednesday.
No one was inside the Parsons' home when a Channel 9 crew went there Thursday but experts said they are free to come and go as they please pending trial.
"Traditionally, in fraud sorts of cases, where it's not an act of violence, the presumption is an unsecured bond and that's how the person has been released," said criminal defense expert Brad Smith.
Smith, an attorney who defends his clients in federal court, said the case of the Parsons' adopted daughter Erica Parsons who is missing has no bearing on whether a judge would decide to keep them behind bars.
“As outraged as the public may be, the judge's hands are tied,” Smith said. “He has to treat every single person that comes in front of him the same."
Smith said federal judges set bond based on two conditions; whether the defendants are a flight risk and if they are considered a danger to society.
"Do they have a private jet? No. Do they have a home in a non-extradition country? No. Are they felons? There's no prior criminal history in this case that I'm aware of," Smith said.
As part of the conditions of their release, the Parsons will have to remain in the eastern part of North Carolina and must abide by all local and state laws.
The Parsons must also wear the electronic monitor bracelets and meet periodically with the pre-trial officer assigned to their case.
"Those conditions are almost like a contract. You're going stay out of jail, pending trial, as long as you (abide) by these conditions," Smith said.
Charlotte’s police chief said an officer dragged and then run over by a car he was trying to stop Tuesday may have been saved by his helmet.
Officer Richard “Brad” Starnes, a motorcycle officer, had road rash and a broken leg after he managed to free himself from that car on Reagan Drive in north Charlotte.
“He's very fortunate. He knows that and we know that,” Chief Rodney Monroe told Eyewitness News Thursday.
Monroe said Starnes had pulled the car on West Sugar Creek Road and then tried to reach into the car to keep it from taking off again.
“He made a motion to either put the car in park or retrieve the keys, and that's when the individual grabbed him and more or less pulled him into the vehicle,” Monroe said.
Monroe said he has seen video from a patrol car’s dash camera that shows Starnes’ helmet hitting the pavement after he is freed from the car.
“He was at grave risk -- based on the speed and the way that he came off of that vehicle, it could've killed him,” Monroe said.
The two suspects in the case, Clay and Maurice Cash, said nothing as they made their court appearances on Thursday afternoon.
Family members also declined to comment on the case.
Read past coverage: 2 charged with attempted murder after CMPD officer injuredThu, 31 Jul 2014 17:26:56 -0400
Authorities took a man into custody Thursday night following a chase that led to a 3-hour standoff in Iredell County near a rest stop on Interstate 77.
The man surrendered peacefully.
The scene was the result of a police chase that occurred a few miles away.
The chase started as a person-to-person armed robbery on the west side of Statesville.
Officials said the robber got into the dump truck and took off on I-77.
The man is armed inside the truck.
Authorities are trying to talk him out of the truck.
The scene is near mile marker 39 north of Mooresville. The ramp is closed.
Viewers tweeted Channel 9 saying they saw a lot of sheriff cars heading toward the scene.
Stay with wsoctv.com for more on this story.
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