Hayneville, AL (WSFA) - A misunderstanding and a recusal happened Thursday in a Lowndes County courtroom.
Lowndes County Sheriff Charlie Williams was supposed to enter a plea in a harassment case against him, but instead, the court says it won't accept it.
Williams was on his way to say whether he'd plead guilty or not guilty in harassing County EMA Director Walter Hill, but apparently had a misunderstanding with his attorney over whether he had to plea in person or if a written statement was acceptable.
Meantime, what Williams didn't know was that Judge Fred Bell recused himself because he said he knows the sheriff and Walter Hill too well.
"If you [Williams] told me something, I'd believe you." said Judge Bell, "and if he [Hill] told me something, I'd believe him, so that doesn't make for a good judge does it?"
With that recusal, the judge wouldn't accept Williams' plea of not guilty.
The sheriff was arrested last month after he apparently got into an argument with Hill and allegedly charged at him.
Deputies allegedly had to restrain the sheriff.
The argument reportedly was over Hill not allowing the sheriff to use an EMA vehicle.
The very next day Walter Hill's county-issued SUV was vandalized, but so far there is no evidence the sheriff is connected to the vandalism.
Hill's attorney says they are not bothered by Thursday's developments.
The sheriff walked out appearing relaxed but not interested in talking or sharing his side of the story.
For now with the judge recusing himself, the Hayneville Town Council must appoint a special judge to hear the case, an appointment that could come during the next council meeting on December 8th.