Adair gives wrap-up of busy year at DA’s office
by Rachel Davis
Mar 04, 2014 | 1497 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Charlie Cook presents Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair with a donation from the Kiwanis Club of Jasper for the Walker County Children’s Advocacy Center. – Photo by: Rachel Davis.
Charlie Cook presents Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair with a donation from the Kiwanis Club of Jasper for the Walker County Children’s Advocacy Center. – Photo by: Rachel Davis.
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Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair was the guest speaker at Monday’s meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Jasper. He discussed the number of cases his office is handling and has handled since he last spoke to the group.

The number of pending felony cases in the circuit court of Walker County is currently 1,365, which Adair said was approximately half of what it was two years ago. He said this leads to quick justice for victims and the accused.

Adair also said there are nine dockets every year where juries are brought in and each of the dockets results in 130-140 cases being handled.

“We’ve tried more cases in the last two and a half years as have been tried in the last 10 years,” Adair said.

Adair credited the circuit judges and Circuit Clerk Susie Odom for their assistance in clearing that case load, and he said his office had seen a decrease in every type of criminal case except one — sex abuse cases.

A year ago, Adair said there were 77 pending sexual assault cases, with 99 percent of those being child sex abuse cases. Adair said there are now 75 pending cases.

He said the reason no decrease has been made in that area is that people rarely take a plea in these cases because they do not want to have to register as a sex offender.

According to Adair, who was the driving force behind the Walker County Children’s Advocacy Center’s creation, the center is currently conducting forensic interviews on four to five children a week who have been abused or sexually assaulted.

Adair discussed other services such as child support collection, restitution recovery program and bad check unit.

Adair also talked about his upcoming initiatives, such as helping to get a county-wide drug unit established and creating a major crimes unit that would include multiple agencies working together to better protect people, particularly those in rural areas.

He said a major focus of his office recently is to ensure that local police understand the importance of how to handle paperwork and other aspects of a case to protect residents and the integrity of cases.

“I am pro-law enforcement,” Adair said. “I believe we need to be aggressive in our law enforcement, but you don’t mistreat citizens, you don’t do things to violate people’s rights, even if it may be tough to get somebody convicted, that’s the way it should be.”

At the end of the presentation, Kiwanis President Charlie Cook presented Adair with a check from the club as their annual donation toward the advocacy center.

In other business:

•The club asked for volunteers for the annual Special Olympics Field Day, set for April 1, 2014.

•The club announced they served more than 600 people at their annual Pancake Breakfast.