Underwood Indicted On Bribery Charges…Releases Statement To Quad Cities Daily

By  | January 8, 2018 | Filed under: News

Billy Underwood

 TUSCUMBIA-Colbert County attorney Billy Underwood was indicted on Monday, January 8  by a Colbert County grand jury on a bribery charge involving a juror.

The indictment charges Underwood with offering, conferring or agreeing to confer any pecuniary benefit upon a juror with the intent that the juror’s vote, opinion, decision or other action as a juror will thereby be corruptly influenced in Colbert County. Bribery of a juror is a class C felony.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said the case was investigated by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and presented to the grand jury by a member of the Attorney General’s Criminal Trials Division.

“Our jury system is the cornerstone to the justice system in our country,” Marshall said in a statement. “My office will always work diligently to ensure that our citizens can be confident that justice will prevail when they go into a courtroom in our state.

“Any possible violation of the laws applying to the sanctity of the jury system must always be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent under the law,” Marshall added. “Whether the alleged offender is an attorney or not, such illegal activity will not be tolerated in our state. Our litigants should never question whether they will be treated fairly when they enter our county courthouses.”

Bribery of a juror is a class C felony, which is punishable by 1-10 years in prison.

 Underwood surrendered to the Colbert County Sheriff’s Office Monday afternoon and was released on $5,000.00 bail  pending trial.

There is an ongoing investigation, and anyone with information is urged to contact the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (Russellville Field Office) at 256.436.1344.

A statement from William Hovater attorney for William “Billy” Underwood:

Mr. William Hovater and I are proud to represent Mr. Underwood on a case that I am very surprised has been brought.  Mr. Underwood is alleged to have attempted to influence a juror in a case in which he was not an attorney nor would have received a fee, stated W. Brent Woodall.

Jeff Bowling, an attorney from Franklin County, stated that he has known Underwood for over twenty years and that he is one of the most honest attorneys with whom he has dealt.  Cliff Wright, who has practiced law in Lauderdale County, likewise recognizes Underwood to be an honest attorney.

Mr. Woodall, who has prosecuted cases for the Alabama Attorney General’s Office and for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama, expressed confidence that there will be a good outcome of this case.  Mr. Hovater, who has practiced law in Colbert County years, for over 37 is also certain that this case will be resolved in Mr. Underwood’s favor.

Underwood is still practicing law and will continue to do so until this matter is ended sometime in 2019.”

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