A federal judge Tuesday morning ordered Guy Neighbors, an owner of the former Yellow House Store in Lawrence, to be released from custody on bond pending his trial in a stolen goods case.
Neighbors, 53, had been in custody since May 2009 when a magistrate judge ruled he violated conditions of his bond because of an email he sent criticizing federal prosecutors and witnesses. In December 2009, U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia had declared him not mentally competent to assist in his defense. Neighbors had been in custody for treatment in Butner, N.C., until a ruling from a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals panel.
Murguia last week reversed his ruling and declared Neighbors competent to stand trial after attorneys brought up findings in a new evaluation, and his defense attorney Tuesday asked Murguia also to release Neighbors on bond.
In the main case against Neighbors, federal prosecutors accuse him of selling stolen goods from the secondhand store, which had operated at 1904 Mass.
In January, his wife Carrie Neighbors, 50, was sentenced to serve eight years in prison after a jury convicted her in the case. She is appealing the verdict, and the couple for several years has accused police and prosecutors of corruption while maintaining they did not knowingly sell stolen goods.
A motion hearing in the Guy Neighbors case is scheduled for Oct. 24.