Matt Pitt released from jail in Shelby County - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Matt Pitt released from jail in Shelby County

Matt Pitt leaves the Shelby County Jail on Sunday morning. Source: WBRC video Matt Pitt leaves the Shelby County Jail on Sunday morning. Source: WBRC video
Pitt embraces one of the supporters who were waiting outside the jail for his release. Source: WBRC video Pitt embraces one of the supporters who were waiting outside the jail for his release. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

A local evangelist serving time for impersonating a peace officer was released from the Shelby County Jail on Sunday morning.

Matt Pitt was greeted by a group of supporters. Many of the them are members of The Basement, a youth ministry group led by Pitt. Brian Ritchey, Pitt's attorney, says his client was elated to walk out of jail.

Pitt was arrested in August of 2013 by Birmingham police in connection to an incident where he allegedly claimed to be a Jefferson County Sheriff's deputy.

The evangelist was on probation in connection to an earlier charge for impersonating a peace officer in May of 2012 in Shelby County. Pitt eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

He received a 12-month suspended sentence and was placed on unsupervised probation for two years. The new charges in Jefferson County were considered a violation of his probation and Pitt was forced to serve his one-year suspended sentence.

Ritchey says his client's good behavior while behind bars earned him credit and is the reason for his early release. Pitt's sentence could have kept him in jail through August.

"A lot of people could have sat in jail and languished but that's not what he did. He spent his time doing what he does best, using his unique ability to preach to young people. He has been able to make an impact and change people's lives inside the jail," Ritchie commented outside the Shelby County Jail on Sunday morning.

Pitt did not address the media when he was released. His lawyer spoke on his behalf.

"He's not going to talk to the press for the next couple of weeks. He's going to spend some time with his family and take a vacation with his wife," Ritchie said.

The early release is a victory for Pitt and his team of supporters, but Ritchey says his client is not in the clear yet.

"He still has a pending charge in Jefferson County and we're ready. If the DA decides to pursue it and get the indictment, we're ready to clear his name."

That charge is for allegedly impersonating a police officer. Ritchey says it is a felony, and if convicted, Pitt could face more jail time.

Copyright 2014 WBRC.  All rights reserved.
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