One of the men behind an alleged scheme to scam thousands of GoFundMe donors out of more than $400,000 will remain free pending the date of his trial.
Johnny Bobbitt was granted temporary freedom after facing a judge during a detention hearing Friday at the Burlington County Superior Court. His release is predicated on a plea deal with prosecutors.
The homeless veteran is facing conspiracy and theft charges.
Prosecutors say Bobbitt conspired with Katelyn McClure and her former boyfriend, Mark D'Amico, to make up a story in which Bobbitt gave McLure his last $20 when her car ran out of gas.
The feel-good story went viral before unravelling as the trio became embroiled in a bitter court battle in which Bobbitt accused the couple of keeping the donations all to themselves.
Prosecutors say McLure and D'Amico spent the money on luxury items and casino trips.
McLure maintains that D'Amico masterminded the alleged scheme.
Bobbitt's temporary release comes after prosecutors reached a plea deal with his public defender.
The prosecution had been pushing for detention, but granted Bobbitt his pretrial freedom after he agreed to apply to drug court and showed a willingness to plead guilty to drug and other charges, said Bobbitt lawyer Jay Keesler.
As part of the plea deal, Bobbitt must submit to pretrial monitoring, remain arrest-free, seek drug and alcohol treatment and avoid contact with McLure and D'Amico.
His next court date is scheduled for February 2019.