Judge Lowers Bond for Columbus Attorney Mark Shelnutt

By Laurie Bernstein - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - In an order handed down by U.S. District Judge Clay Land Friday afternoon, Columbus Attorney Mark Shelnutt no longer has to pay a $50,000 fully-secured bond.

Wednesday after his arraignment hearing, Shelnutt's attorney, Tom Withers, filed a motion to lower his bond amount, saying $50,000 was too excessive to pay.

Judge Land agreed, and lowered it to a 20% secured bond, where Shelnutt would pay just

Shelnutt has been out of jail since the 40-count indictment was handed down against him May 21st.

He is accused of money laundering, witness tampering, attempted bribery, and aiding and abetting the drug organization led by Torrance Hill.

He was charged and convicted of drug trafficking stemming from a 2005 drug bust in Columbus that netted $38 million in narcotics and cash.

Shelnutt's trial will be September 8th, 2009.