Dekalb County, Georgia -- The DeKalb County District Attorney agreed to drop charges against a man accused of breaking into Bishop Eddie Long's office, Channel 2 Action News has learned.
Anthony Boyd was scheduled to stand trial on burglary charges for the incident that happened in June 2010. Police accused Boyd, a security guard at the church, and Maurice Robinson, a former church member, of the break-in.
"They say I was facing 20 years and I didn't know what to do," Boyd told Channel 2's Erin Coleman.
Robinson was offered a pretrial diversion program in which the charges would be dropped if he successfully completed it. Boyd was offered the same program but said he declined the offer because he did nothing wrong.
Long wrote a letter to District Attorney Robert James in August, requesting that prosecutors drop the charges against Boyd.
"While I understand that there may be evidence to support a prosecution, I believe in forgiveness and the opportunity for second chances," Long wrote.
Long had also met with previous DeKalb County District Attorney Gwen Keyes Fleming, but Fleming refused to drop the charges citing the evidence she had.
Boyd told Channel 2's Jodie Fleischer he had no reason to break into Long's private office inside the church and risk losing his security job there. He said Robinson and Anthony Flagg, who were close friends, did have a motive. Three months after the break-in, they and two others filed sex abuse lawsuits against Long. Flagg was never charged by police.
"Basically, they were just trying to get evidence to further the case or the investigation 'cause (their attorney, B.J.) Bernstein said she couldn't take on the case unless they get more evidence. So that's when they burglarized the church, stole the iPad, iPhone and the jewelry," Boyd said in June 2011.
A judge dismissed the sexual abuse lawsuits on May 27, one day after both sides announced they'd agreed to a settlement.
Long issued a statement late Monday that stated, "This is a blessed opportunity for Anthony Boyd. As it is written in II Corinthians 5:17 anyone who belongs to Christ becomes a new person, the old life is gone; a new life has begun. We remain prayerful for he and his family and wish him well in his future life pursuits."