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State Supreme Court appoints Colbert County judge to preside over Lee County DA case

State Supreme Court appoints Colbert County judge to preside over Lee County DA case

Brandon Hughes (copy)

In this March 1, 2019, file photo, Lee county District Attorney Brandon Hughes delivers a closing statement in court at the Lee County Justice Center in Opelika.

The Alabama Supreme Court appointed retired Colbert County Judge Pamela Baschab to preside over Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes’ case after local judges recused themselves, according to court documents.

The Nov. 13 order comes after Hughes turned himself in to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Nov. 8 on multiple charges including using office as personal gain, one count of conspiracy and one count of first-degree perjury. He was released on a $31,000 bond.

“Hughes was charged with illegally using the authority of his office for his personal benefit by issuing a district attorney’s subpoena to a private business to gather evidence for his defense to potential criminal charges,” according to a release from the Attorney General’s Office.

Hughes is also charged with conspiring to steal a pickup truck from a Chambers County business.

“That count of the indictment alleges that Hughes and others agreed to steal the truck from a business located in Chambers County, and that the effectuated the plan by taking a Lee County search warrant into Chambers County and using it to force the business to release lawful possession of a 1985 Ford Ranger,” the release reads.

An additional count of first-degree perjury was added to the charges by the state Attorney General’s Office after Hughes allegedly gave false testimony to the Alabama Ethics Commission, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

The five ethics violation charges leveled against Hughes are Class B felonies and are each punishable by 2-20 years in prison and fines of up to $30,000, while the conspiracy and perjury charges are Class C felonies and are each punishable by 1-10 years in prison and fines up to $15,000, according to Attorney General’s Office.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General Clark Morris and Assistant Attorney General Jasper Roberts of the Special Prosecution Division.

Attorney General Steve Marshall rescued himself from the case due to his previous service alongside Hughes in the Alabama District Attorneys Association.

Hughes, who was elected as district attorney in 2016, self-reported a possible ethics violation to the Alabama Ethics Commission earlier this year, though it is unknown if the recent charges are related.

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