Morning Journal

Nancy Smith free on bond

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 12:30 PM EST

ELYRIA - Former Head Start bus driver Nancy Smith is free on bond and one step closer to getting out of prison.

Lorain County Common Pleas Court Judge James Burge today vacated the sentence for Smith, 51, of Lorain, who was convicted in 1994 of molesting four young children.

She was serving a sentence of 30- to 90 years, but the judge ordered she be resentenced due to a technical error in her initial sentencing entry.

Today, Burge set bond at $100,000, which her best friend posted. She is effectively a convicted inmate, and will be free until she is resentenced. She could remain free depending on what the judge decides.

Smith’s family and supporters said they did not expect Burge’s decision. They hugged and cried tears of joy with each other after his announcement.

Her case is hotly contested in part because of inconstancies in the children’s testimony and problems with the police investigation. Smith has maintained her innocence and many believe she was falsely accused.

Nancy Smith at bond hearing
Former Head Start bus driver Nancy Smith and her attorney Jack Bradley at a hearing today where Judge James Burge ruled she would be resentenced. MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL

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