Federal trial of Ga. sheriff begins - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Federal trial of Ga. sheriff begins

Anderson (left) confers with his counsel. Anderson (left) confers with his counsel.

October 20, 2003

Albany-- Suspended Baker County Sheriff Isaac Anderson is on trial in federal court. He's charged with taking one thousand dollars to falsify a police incident report. But his lawyer says he was set up.

Suspended Baker County Sheriff Isaac Anderson ending his first day on trial. His family there to support him.

Anderson is accused of lying to federal agents about a suspected false incident report for Tommy Williams, Junior. The report had Williams hitting a deer in Baker County instead of being at his wife's Florida home where he had a restraining order.

"I believe he's innocent, and that's all I have to say," said Anderson's relative Anne Ware.

An equally diverse jury was chosen for this high profile case. Of 42 potential jurors, seven whites, seven blacks. Half of the potential jurors were familiar with the case.

"I heard it on the news. That's about all I know," said Potential Juror Steve Johnson. Johnson didn't make the cut, and said he's "Relieved not be judging my fellow man."

In opening statements, Anderson's attorney, Phil Cannon, said the Williams family served the sheriff up on a silver platter to get out of trouble. Federal Prosecutors say Anderson was paid a thousand dollars by Williams' dad to make up the accident.

The Williams family, Anderson's secretary, Donnie Lee Butler and Deputy Aubrey Suggs are all expected to testify against him. Newton Mayor BeBe Johnson is on the defense list to testify on behalf of the sheriff.

Tommy Williams, Junior, his parents and cousins all pled guilty to perjury and conspiracy charges. The trial will continue Tuesday morning in the Albany Federal Courthouse.

posted at 5:35PM by dave.miller@walb.com

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