Former Lee County District Attorney to begin jail sentence within 48-hours

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LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) – Lee County’s former top prosecutor is ordered to begin his 10-month jail sentence at the Lee County Detention Facility, steps away from his former office as District Attorney at the Lee County Justice Center.

The Alabama Attorney General’s Office announced Tuesday Hughes has been ordered to serve his 10-month sentence for two felony counts in the Lee County Detention Facility in Opelika.

On June 24, 2021, Hughes pleaded guilty to two felony counts of an indictment being tried before specially appointed Lee County Circuit Judge Pamela Baschab.  Hughes pleaded guilty to perjury in the first degree and the use of his public office for personal gain.

In September, attorneys for Hughes filed a motion asking that he serve his sentence in a community corrections program rather than in jail.  Tuesday, the trial court denied the defense request and ordered Hughes to report within 48 hours to serve his 10-month sentence at the Lee County Detention Facility.

Pursuant to the Hughes’ June plea agreement, he agreed to a three-year sentence for both counts, split to serve ten months in jail. Additionally, Hughes will be required to pay back the Lee County District Attorney’s Fund $14,000 in legal fees related to the use of his public office for personal gain, and $1,350 in restitution to Highway 50 Towing of Lanett, Alabama.

While Hughes previously had been suspended from office as a result of his indictment, the court’s acceptance of his plea of guilty caused his removal from office as a matter of law.  He was allowed to remain out on bond pending an application to serve his sentence in a community corrections program.

“Brandon Hughes violated the public trust and therefore deserved to serve his sentence in jail,” said Chief Deputy Attorney General Clay Crenshaw.

Crenshaw thanked the staff of the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Division, specifically Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General Clark Morris, Assistant Attorneys General Jasper Roberts and Alana Cammack, and paralegal Jennifer Means-Marsh for their work in prosecuting the case.  He also expressed his appreciation of valuable assistance provided by the Alabama Ethics Commission and the Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts.

In June, Hughes’s ethics trial came to an abrupt halt in the middle of testimony when he pleaded guilty to violating the Ethics Act and perjury. The AG’s Office indicted him on five ethics violations and perjury, including spending $14,000 in taxpayer dollars from the DA’s fund to an attorney helping Hughes settle an alleged sex discrimination claim involving a former employee. In addition, Hughes was accused of illegally hiring his grown children to work, issuing a subpoena to gather evidence for his potential criminal defense. Hughes was also charged with conspiring to steal a pickup from a Chambers County business using a Lee County search warrant.

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