Clay magistrate pleads not-guilty to vote-buying

July 14, 2009 

A Clay County magistrate charged in an alleged vote-buying conspiracy pleaded not guilty Monday.

Stanley Bowling was released from custody after a hearing in U.S. District Court in London.

Bowling is charged with being part of a group of prominent Clay County residents who allegedly conspired to buy and steal votes between 2002 and July 2007.

The others charged are former Circuit Judge R. Cletus Maricle; Douglas Adams, who recently retired as school superintendent; county Clerk Freddy Thompson; Charles Wayne Jones, the county's Democratic election commissioner; William Stivers, who has been an election officer; and Bart Morris and his wife, Debra, who own a waste-hauling company.

A grand jury added Bowling to the case in a new indictment issued last week.

All have pleaded not guilty.

The government plans to try to collect almost $5 million from the defendants if they are convicted, according to the indictment.

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