MONTGOMERY, AL., (WSFA) -- Attorney General Troy King announced that a former Chilton County DHR employee has been sentenced to serve time in prison for multiple counts of felony ethics and theft convictions. Darnell Owens, a former child support supervisor, was found guilty by a jury in Chilton County Circuit Court on November 5th.
Owens was sentenced to 46 months, to run concurrently for each count. The sentence was split, with Owens ordered to serve 13 months in prison followed by a term of 24 months of probation. The Judge also ordered Owens to pay $2,500 in restitution, to serve 250 hours of community service, to reimburse the State $5000 for his public defender fees, and to pay $50 to the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Fund. Owens was sentenced for three counts of second-degree theft and three counts of intentional use of his public position for illegal personal gain.
"It is appropriate that Darnell Owens serve time in prison for his crimes," said Attorney General Troy King. "This man was a public employee, entrusted to carry out his department's mission and to handle child support funds. He broke that trust by using his position to steal money that had been paid by parents for the support of children."
Attorney General King's Office presented evidence that Owens received payments for child support, of which he misappropriated funds totaling about $3,500. After discrepancies were discovered within the Chilton County Department of Human Resources, the agency referred the matter to the State DHR and requested an internal audit. The case was subsequently referred to Attorney General King's Office, resulting in an indictment by a Chilton County grand jury.