Marshall County fugitive found in Florida jail

Friday, February 7, 2014

By Karen Hall

Editor

A local bonding company which forfeited $5,200 when a client disappeared before his sentencing hearing may now get its money back, since the missing man has been found -- jailed in Florida.

Mamie Cochran of Cochran Bonding was in Circuit Court Wednesday to tell Judge Forest A. Durard Jr. that Clebron G. Mealer, 45, formerly of Old Columbia Road, was in Orange County Jail, charged with battery. A hold has been placed on him, and Mealer will be extradited back to Marshall County when Florida is finished with him.

Durard and the prosecutors would not agree to refund Cochran's money until Mealer is actually in the county jail, since they all remembered cases where prisoners were released instead of having a hold enforced. Cochran Bonding also has to pay the cost of transporting Mealer from Orlando, Fla. to Lewisburg.

Mealer was indicted in September 2012, charged with theft over $10,000. In July 2012, he allegedly stole a diamond ring, diamond bracelet, and amethyst bracelet from a home where he was doing some work, and sold them at a local pawn shop.

The stolen goods were all recovered, and the victim commented, "Good job by law enforcement."

Mealer was to have a jury trial in February 2013, but made an open plea of guilty the preceding month. A pre-sentence report was prepared by Crystal Gray of the Board of Probation and Parole, and Mealer was due back in court for his sentencing hearing on March 6, but never appeared.

"I did not take the stuff," Mealer told Gray when she interviewed him. "I just sold it, so they said I was just as guilty."

Documents in the case file show Mealer has been in trouble with the law before. After several convictions for driving under the influence he was declared a Habitual Motor Vehicle Offender in 1991, and appears to have remained without transport, since he told Gray it was hard to get home-repair jobs without a way to get around.

Evidently he decided to remedy this situation in his new home state: it was an application for a Florida driver's license that gave Cochran Bonding a clue to Mealer's whereabouts, Mamie Cochran told the court.