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PRESS RELEASE: Former Madison County, Alabama, Deputy Justin Watson Pleads Guilty to Lying Under Oath to Obstruct Investigation into Beating

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Former Madison County, Alabama, Deputy Pleads Guilty to Lying Under Oath to Obstruct Investigation into Beating

The Justice Department announced today that Justin Watson, 31, a former deputy with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office in Huntsville, Alabama, has pleaded guilty to obstructing a federal investigation into the beating of a local handyman.

According to evidence presented in court, Watson, while off-duty, got into a bar fight with the handyman. Watson searched for the man over the next several weeks, and when he observed the man driving down the highway, Watson pulled him over and ordered him out of his truck. Watson proceeded to strike the man in the face, hit him with a baton and choke him until he was unconscious. At a later criminal proceeding, Watson knowingly and falsely claimed, under oath, that he had never seen the man before the traffic stop and that he had not gotten into a bar fight with the man.

“This deputy, who was sworn to uphold the law, brazenly chose to violate it,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “We cannot, and will not, tolerate police officers who lie under oath to obstruct the pursuit of justice.”

“My office is committed to investigating allegations of police misconduct, and prosecuting cases where appropriate, in order to ensure that everyone in our community can expect fair treatment from law enforcement,” said U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance of the Northern District of Alabama. “Any law enforcement officer who tries to interfere with an investigation into police misconduct should expect scrutiny for that misbehavior, as well. The vast majority of police officers perform their duties with integrity, even in difficult and trying situations, and support efforts to prosecute officers who commit misconduct. We appreciate that professionalism and want the public to be aware that we are committed, alongside of our state and local law enforcement colleagues, to ensuring that police officers behave in a fair and lawful manner.”

Watson faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. He will be sentenced at a later date.

This case was investigated by the FBI, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Stuart Burrell of the Northern District of Alabama and Trial Attorney Christopher Perras of the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division.

About FREDERICA CADE

Most of the information you will see comes from some Federal/state Government documents or Federal/State Governm Agency. -----------------------------------------------The fellow that can only see a week ahead is always the popular fellow, for he is looking with the crowd. But the one that can see years ahead, he has a telescope but he can't make anybody believe that he has it. ~~~~Will Rogers __The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.~ Albert Einstein ~"I never work better than when I am inspired by anger; for when I am angry, I can write, pray, and preach well, for then my whole temperament is quickened, my understandingsharpen​ed, and all mundane vexations and temptations depart.” ~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. _________________________________________________________________________________________ ~"The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment".~___________________________________ George Washington, Address to the Members of the Volunteer Association of Ireland, December 2, 1783 Fredericacade@gmail.com

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