Sheriff Byrd Pleads Guilty, Still Hasn’t Stepped Down

Sheriff Byrd Pleads Guilty, Still Hasn’t Stepped Down

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Sheriff Mike Byrd arrived at the federal court house in Mobile earlier than news cameras did. Before Chief U.S. District Court Judge William Steele he pleaded guilty to misleading content toward another person with the intent to prevent communication to a federal officer. Last June, his deputies arrested a man for stealing a patrol car and leading a chase through Jackson County to Mobile. Officers tased James Mark Stahl when they caught him. Sheriff Byrd has admitted to kicking Stahl in the groin then having dashcam video of the incident erased. Prosecutor Greg Bordenkircher says he's happy with Byrd's guilty plea.

"It's really advantageous to all parties because it doesn't waste the resources and time and effort. And the person admits to guilt which I think is always a good thing to move forward," says Bordenkircher.

Pleading guilty means a grand jury will not be involved. The maximum sentence would be 20 years in prison plus $250,000 then another three years on probation. Byrd could lose his right to vote, to possess any firearms, and to hold public office. But as of today he is still sheriff.

"I'm going to call Greg and get his input and see what he thinks is the appropriate thing from a government standpoint and then I'll meet with Mike in the morning and hopefully by tomorrow afternoon maybe you guys will know something," says Byrd's attorney Joe Sam Owen.

Byrd is currently prohibited from carrying a firearm. Though the maximum sentence is 20 years prison, prosecutors are recommending six months house arrest and six months on probation. He must report to a probation officer for pre-trial services and a sentence hearing is set for March 11.

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