ROCKINGHAM CO., N.C. -- Lots of people are stunned to learn that Rockingham County District Attorney Thomas Keith filed to dismiss 22 charges against Mickey Snow.
Snow is accused of having sex with two teenage girls in part of a child prostitution case in Eden. He was charged in 2015 after police found him in Thailand and brought him back to Rockingham County. Snow still faces 9 other charges, but many people wonder why charges are getting dropped more than two years after he was arrested.
The 9 remaining charges are all related to sex and prostitution offenses. Defense attorney Locke Clifford thinks the prosecution still has a strong case.
"That is all the state needs if they want to get him a long prison sentence," Clifford explains. "They can convict him of all that, they don't need the other 22 cases."
Clifford isn't involved in the case, but he's been following it. He suspects the charges might have been dropped for practical purposes, noting it's easier for a judge and jury to go through evidence in 9 charges rather than 31.
Court documents from the district attorney suggest some of the charges have been combined into one; others give reason of "insufficient evidence as to the element of severely or profoundly mentally disabled person." Clifford says that pertains to the victims, but notes it shouldn't impact what the jury hears on the victims' side.
"That will have no bearing on the veracity, the believability, the credibility of the victim," he explains.
Snow's day in court is coming a lot slower than everyone else charged in this case. 3 other men have already pleaded guilty and are serving time. The teenage girls' mother is also behind bars. Clifford says it's not typical for a trial to take this long to start, but then again, this isn't your typical case.
The trial venue was recently changed from Rockingham County to Catawba County to increase the chances of finding an impartial jury. The trial is set to start in February.