Four months ago, Scottie Dewayne Wilkins, 30, of Winston County, was charged with taking a $5,000 bribe to influence a case in state court.
A month later, Wilkins pleaded guilty to soliciting and accepting the bribe from an individual who had a probation matter pending in state court. The incident occurred on Sept. 22, 2011. The individual who paid the bribe has not been named publicly.
As part of his plea deal, Wilkins agreed to forfeit $5,000 and a diamond ring he bought on Sept. 22, 2011.
The sentence, issued by U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon, includes one year of supervised release. Wilkins’ report date for the prison term will be Jan. 7, 2013.
“Most police officers work hard every day to protect the citizens and the communities they serve,” U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance said in a press release. “On the occasion that an officer does violate his oath and the law, we will vigorously pursue prosecution because the citizens of this district are entitled to trust law enforcement.”
Wilkins resigned from the Jasper Police Department in late September 2011.
Birmingham lawyer Hope Marshall served as Wilkins’ defense attorney and said everyone in the courtroom was moved by Wilkins’ statements.
"Today is the beginning of Scottie's new life,” she said. “As he told Judge Kallon, he intends to turn this regrettable incident into a victory. The spiritual and personal support of Scottie’s family and friends was overwhelming. We are privileged to be his lawyers and his friends."
The FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry Cornelius served as the prosecutor.
The Eagle’s efforts to reach Jasper Police Chief Connie Cooner Rowe were unsuccessful Tuesday.
However, she said after Wilkins was charged that she trusts the decisions of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“More often than not, police officers make good decisions, but occasionally police officers, like all people, make poor decisions,” Rowe said the day Wilkins was charged. “When that happens, we are going to deal with it according to the letter of the law.”