Pickens County Judge Sentenced to 50 Months

(MONTGOMERY)- Attorney General Troy King announced that former Pickens County Circuit Judge Ira Colvin was convicted Tuesday morning for possession of methamphetamine and sentenced to 50 months imprisonment and a $1000 drug crime fine. Colvin's sentence in Alabama would begin upon his completion of a 12-year sentence he is already serving in Mississippi for charges related to methamphetamine.

"This is a victory for the very integrity of justice for Alabama and the people of Pickens County," said Attorney General King. "It is a travesty for this man to have acted as a judge, sentencing other people for drug crimes, while he himself was breaking the law he had sworn to uphold, and to which he held others to account.  His crimes demonstrate a betrayal and hypocrisy that warrant a stern penalty."

On August 14, 2006, Colvin was arrested in Mississippi for purchasing precursors for the production of methamphetamine. The next day, the Alabama Chief Justice barred him from hearing any matters in Pickens County, and sent that order to the 24th Circuit's presiding judge, who directed that Colvin's office be searched for anything that might pose a danger to court personnel. A search conducted by a district attorney's investigator and a sheriff's deputy revealed a bag of an off-white substance, which a field test determined to be methamphetamine. At that time, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation was called in and a warrant was obtained for a full search of Colvin's office, which uncovered several packages with suspected methamphetamine residue, and shells from a shotgun and pistol. Colvin was indicted by a Pickens County grand jury on August 21, 2006, charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, which is a class C felony.  He was convicted for purchasing precursors for the production of methamphetamine in Mississippi, where he has been serving a 12-year sentence since October of 2007.  Colvin has been removed from office and disbarred from the practice of law.

A hearing had been set this morning in Pickens County Circuit Court regarding a motion by Colvin to suppress the evidence from the search of his office.  However, before the hearing began, Colvin's attorney withdrew the motion and Colvin entered a blind plea of his guilt as charged to unlawful possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced by Tuscaloosa County Circuit Judge Scott Donaldson, who was assigned by the Alabama Supreme Court to hear the case.

Attorney General King commended those involved in the investigation and prosecution to bring this case to a successful conclusion, noting particularly Assistant Attorney General Andrew Arrington of his Violent Crimes Division, Investigator Keith Cox of the Pickens County District Attorney's Office, Deputy Greg Carr of the Pickens County Sheriff's Office, and Sergeant Elden Willingham of the Alabama Bureau of Investigation.

Information from the Alabama Attorney General's office.