HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - The former Hanover building trades teacher accused of taking indecent liberties with one of his students was found not guilty. Craig Linnon faced up to five years in jail. Instead, he's a free man...at least for now.
The jury deliberated for almost three hours Tuesday evening, in the end deciding that the testimony of Linnon's former student was not enough for a conviction.
Craig Linnon kept his head down and his feet racing toward the car. For a man with a lot on his mind...he let his lawyer, do the talking.
"My client's very relieved. The family is very relieved. The stress this causes in unbearable," said defense attorney Ed Riley.
Linnon, now 50 years old, stood accused of asking his then 16-year-old student, Nick Hodges, to have sex with Linnon's then-girlfriend, Angela. According to testimony, it was meant to satisfy a fantasy of the woman who used to be the school nurse.
"Any guy who has a girlfriend who's asked you to do that is, I think, not right. It's definitely different," Hodges said following his testimony.
Hodges, now 18, testified that Linnon even sent the request via text message. But the proof was never available in court.
"I remember showing my friend the text message, so, I mean I know that it was true, I guess you could say," Hodges said afterward.
"The facts didn't add up, it didn't make sense," Riley said.
Craig and Angela Linnon eventually married, though they lost their jobs at the Hanover Center for Trades and Technology when they were arrested earlier this year in a separate matter. For that reason, Linnon would take no questions about what happens next.
"Clearly, there's more fight ahead of him. So, he's going to be bracing for that," Riley said.
Craig and Angela Linnon each face six additional felony charges for alleged sex crimes against four other students. That trial takes place in March of next year.