Pearl Combs, Jr., 58, Lewis “Cuz” Baker, 72, and Charles Marvin Herald, 47, were indicted by a grand jury on allegations that they paid voters to cast ballots for certain candidates during the primary election.
Combs was arrested on the day of the primary at his office on High Street, while formal charges were brought against Baker and Herald in July 2010 when a grand jury returned indictments against the men. A fourth man, Michael Combs, was also indicted, but the charges against him were dismissed after the case briefly went to trial in January. On the second day of testimony, Pearl Combs and Baker entered guilty pleas as part of an agreement that would see the charges against Michael Combs dropped.
As part of the deal, Pearl Combs pleaded guilty to four counts against him, including conspiracy and vote buying. Lewis Baker entered his plea of guilty on one count of conspiracy during the proceeding as well, while Herald pleaded guilty to the charges against him on the opening day of the trial.
They were formally sentenced on Friday of last week, and each of the men will be serving time in prison. U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove sentenced Pearl Combs, Jr. to 18 months in prison; Baker to 10 months and Herald to six months in prison.