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Judge dismisses Watkins' embezzlement case

BROOKHAVEN — A judge has dismissed an indictment that accused Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Terry Lynn Watkins with eight counts of embezzlement.

The Brookhaven Daily Leader reports Circuit Judge William Coleman issued the ruling yesterday after defense attorneys argued the ambiguity of the charges, that prosecutors were picking and choosing charges from the indictment, and that the indictment did not clearly state to whom the allegedly embezzled money belonged.

Watkins was arrested in November and freed on bond.

Prosecutors alleged Watkins embezzled more than $131,000 from her office between 2004 and 2006.

District Attorney Dee Bates says a new case will be presented to new grand jury in February.

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