Columbus lawyer Mark Shelnutt reacts to arrest

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  A Columbus attorney at the center of a GBI drug investigation is speaking out about his recent arrest.

"I'm going to fight these charges and I'm going to fight any charges that are brought," Mark Shelnutt said during an interview at his office on 2nd Avenue Friday.

Shelnutt says he is still reeling from his unexpected arrest Thursday. He posted bond that night.

GBI agents revealed they have him on video and audio dealing prescription pills to a confidential informant during a three month long investigation.

Shelnutt says it's too early to talk about the charges but says there were warning signs he was being investigated- phone calls from people who said they'd been asked to help build the case against him.

"People being promised their freedom, if they could do this, they wouldn't have to go to jail. Some people have been threatened that they will have their children taken away but they can save themselves if they sign a statement against me," he said.

Shelnutt was acquitted in a federal money laundering case last year after being accused of accepting drug money for legal fees.

And now he has to defend himself all over again.

"They are on a mission and they're not on a mission to do anything but come after one person. This is nothing but targeted, let's do anything to bring a person down no matter what it is, at whatever cost," Shelnutt added.

Arrest warrants state Shelnutt dealt the prescription pills at places like the Red Lobster on 13th Street, his law office downtown and even the Columbus Government Center.

"I can only hope that eventually the truth is going to come out about a lot of things. I just ask people to withhold their judgement until all this comes out in a courtroom," he said.

Shelnutt tells me he hopes to hire an attorney to represent him by next week.

As far as the clients he his currently representing, he says his law office is open for business.

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