Bishop Eddie Long asks DA to dismiss theft charges against former security guard

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/September 9, 2011

Bishop Eddie Long has sent a letter to DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James requesting he dismiss burglary charges against a former security guard charged in a 2010 theft at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.

Anthony Boyd was accused of facilitating the burglary of roughly $100,000 in jewelry and electronics from Long's office inside the church. Boyd's attorney has made it clear the bishop would be called to testify.

District Attorney's Office spokesman Erik Burton confirmed Long's letter was received this week.

"The request is under consideration by [James]," he said.

Boyd was implicated along with two other men who would later file civil lawsuits accusing Long of sexual misconduct. Only Maurice Robinson was charged with burglary; suspect Anthony Flagg was not charged due to a lack of evidence, Burton said.

Robinson and Boyd were offered entry into a pre-trial diversion program in exchange for having their charges dismissed. Robinson accepted "and is compliant with program requirements," Burton said in June. Boyd told the AJC he didn't complete the diversion program because "I'm innocent. I had nothing to do with it."

No evidence has been presented that Boyd participated in the actual theft of the missing items, which included a $35,000 Jorg Hysek diamond watch.

"Basically [Robinson and his accomplice] were just trying to get evidence to further the investigation because [attorney B.J.] Bernstein said she couldn't take on the case unless they get more evidence," Boyd said.

Bernstein, who represented Robinson, Flagg, Spencer LeGrande and Jamal Parris in their sexual misconduct suit against Long, said last September the burglary was committed as a means of getting back at the bishop. The four plaintiffs reached a settlement with Long in late May for an undisclosed amount.

The charismatic pastor tried last August to have the burglary charges dropped against Boyd and Robinson but was unable to persuade then-District Attorney Gwen Keyes-Fleming.

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