A former Kanawha County assistant public defender was jailed over the holiday weekend after bond was rescinded on a charge that the prosecutor said would be dropped.
Charleston police took Steven James Conifer, 32, into custody on Thanksgiving Day.
That was nearly four months after the Kanawha County Prosecutor's Office announced it would drop a single count of receiving support from prostitution that had been filed against Conifer last year.
Conifer was released Monday morning after spending four nights at South Central Regional Jail, according to documents filed in Kanawha Circuit Court.
He was initially arrested in July 2011 after a search of his Kanawha Boulevard apartment. Authorities had received information from police in New Jersey concerning a possible Internet child prostitution case. Officers removed several recordable DVDs, CDs and five hard drives from his home.
He was charged with receiving support from prostitution and suspended from the Public Defender's Office, where he had worked since January 2011.
George Castelle, chief public defender, said Monday that Conifer was no longer associated with the public defender's office and had not been for some time.
After Conifer was charged, Ardith Michaux posted his $5,000 bond and he was released. Michaux's relationship to Conifer is unknown and attempts to contact her were unsuccessful.
Prosecutor Mark Plants announced on Aug. 21 that his office would drop the charge because a year had passed without the case being presented to a grand jury.
Plants, who could not be reached Monday, said then that prosecutors have one year after an arrest to indict, and the charge must be dropped if an indictment isn't returned in that period. He said that didn't mean the case was closed or that additional charges couldn't be filed.
According to court records, the charge was never officially dropped.