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Some Inmates In Johnston County Jail Wear Out Welcome

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JOHNSTON COUNTY, N.C. — Usually, people waiting to go on trial spend a few weeks behind bars. But in Johnston County, the jail time has stretched to years for some inmates. Sheriff Steve Bizzell said some of the inmates in the Johnston County Jail are wearing out their welcome.

Larry Jones, Antonio Woods and Timothy Hocutt have been behind bars since March 2001 on charges of kidnapping and murder in the

death of a man

in Clayton. They still have not gone to trial.

"Of the 11 that we have charged with murder in Johnston County, seven have been in over a year. Three of the seven have been in almost two-and-a-half years and have not went to trial," Bizzell said.

Officials said some inmates who remain in jail until their trial can cause trouble at the jail. Bizzell said Timothy Hocutt vented his frustration and attacked another inmate over the weekend. Bizzell said he is frustrated by the whole situation.

"There is no excuse for this whatsoever. I'm not trying to say that someone is not doing their job, but I mean, apparently they are not," Bizzell said.

District Attorney Tom Locke said he understands Bizzell's frustration. He said the case against Jones, Woods and Hocutt has been slowed down by the death of the lead detective,

Lt. Monica Carey

. Locke claims other cases are tied up because Johnston County only holds jury trials one week a month.

Locke said he expects the old murder cases to be resolved in the next six months.

"If we assume the guilt of these defendants, the cost of the upkeep is going to be borne by all of us as taxpayers anyway," he said. "It's just a matter of whether or not the cost is borne by the county taxpayers or by the state."

Locke said more jail space and adding more court sessions in Superior Court would help to alleviate the problem.


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