MARSHALL COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A 12 year old felony theft charge has made its way into a State House race in Marshall County.
Republican candidate, Will Ainsworth, for district 27, was charged by Auburn police after several fiberglass Auburn Tigers placed around the town were stolen.
Each valued at more than $3,000, but the charges were later dismissed.
Ainsworth admits it's a college prank and has learned from his mistake.
[Court documents (PDF)]
But some may question if the outcome would have been different had they not been able to make such restitution.
In December 2001 several media outlets reported the theft of four tigers placed around town as part of the Tigers on the Prowl community art project.
Court documents show Will Ainsworth and five others were charged, Ainsworth admitted to police his involvement.
But in a letter from the Chamber of Commerce to the district attorney, an agreement that if Ainsworth performed community service, gave an apology, and paid restitution they would agree to have the felony charges dismissed.
Some in the community feel it's a deal only for the privileged but should someone's childhood past be a factor in such a race?
"Um, I don't know. I mean the judicial system today? I don't believe in it anymore." Tami McClellan said.
Jonathan Watts says, "It would in some sense, but I also believe that people change. You can't always judge a person by their past actions."
Ainsworth says he's learned from his past mistakes and it's helped him help others to make wise decisions.
He also believes it's political.
[Candidate statements (PDF)]