Street preacher, son released from jail

A Tennessee street preacher and his son, who spent more than a month in the Bibb County jail, have been released.

Larry Craft, who's 54, and his 23-year-old son, Josiah, were arrested after refusing to leave Central City Park during the Cherry Blossom Festival.

They were handing out religious pamphlets when deputies reportedly asked them to move outside festival grounds.

They were charged with obstruction, and Josiah Craft was also charged with carrying a firearm at the festival.

Today, Rebecca Grist, Bibb's solicitor-general, told 13WMAZ her office released the Crafts "in the interest of justice" even though the charges were "legally sound and prosecutable."

Grist says the two would have been in jail for months, at taxpayer expense.

That's because the Crafts requested jury trials, which wouldn't begin until late June.

The Crafts cost the county nearly $4,000 for 38 days in jail.

Grist also told 13WMAZ that "given the nature of the charges and lack of criminal history, if convicted at trial, the Court would likely sentence the Crafts to the time that they had already served in the Law Enforcement Center."

But according to reports, this wasn't Larry Craft's first run-in with the law while street preaching.

He was arrested at the same Macon event in 2010 and again in 2012 while protesting a festival in Louisiana.

Last year, he was charged with criminal trespass and obstruction and arrested at the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta.


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