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Matt Pitt released from Shelby County Jail

By Gary Lloyd

COLUMBIANA — At 6:05 a.m. Sunday, Matt Pitt, surrounded by family and supporters, scanned the early-morning sky, the sun still not quite peaking over the Columbiana hills.

Pitt, wearing a striped turquoise shirt and blue jeans, smiled as he walked out of Shelby County Jail this morning.

“I can’t believe it,” Pitt said, looking toward the sky.

Pitt had been incarcerated since August 2013, serving time for a probation revocation on an impersonating a police officer charge. Pitt was released about four months early for good behavior.

The Basement founder Matt Pitt leaves Shelby County Jail on Sunday morning.
photo by Gary Lloyd

“On behalf of Matt and his family, I want to thank all his supporters that stood by him during this difficult time,” said Brian Ritchey, Pitt’s attorney. “This has been a long period for him, eight months sitting in a jail. A lot of people could have sat and languished during this time. Matt didn’t. He spent a lot of time, most of his time, ministering to others, using his unique style to make an impact, to make a change in other people’s lives. That’s really the story about what’s been going on the past eight months, not him sitting in jail but actually what he’s done to other people.”

Ritchey said a reception for Pitt will be held at The Basement in Trussville today at 6 p.m. Pitt will then leave on a “much needed” vacation with his wife.

“During this time he’s not going to have any statements with the press or any interviews,” Ritchey said.

Pitt in September 2012 pleaded guilty to impersonating a peace officer after he allegedly pulled behind traffic on Interstate 65 near Calera in May 2012 and activated flashing blue lights.

In August 2013, Pitt was charged with the same offense in Jefferson County relating to a June 2013 incident in Grayson Valley, in which he presented a Jefferson County honorary sheriff’s badge to Brandon Vessels and Brad Lunsford after the two Grayson Valley residents found what they believed to be a rifle about 50 feet into the wooded area near their homes.

“This isn’t over yet,” Ritchey said. “He still has a pending charge in Jefferson County. We are still waiting to see whether the (district attorney) is going to pursue this case and get an indictment. We stand ready and willing, if that’s necessary, to defend him and to clear his name.”

Read more about Pitt here.

Contact Gary Lloyd at and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.

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