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Book closes on Crowe brutality accusation

Williams pleads guilty to role in 2009 incident

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POSTED: August 18, 2012 9:30 a.m.

A man who once accused then sheriff’s deputy and current Pembroke Police Chief Mark Crowe of beating him in his own front yard has pleaded guilty to obstruction for his role in the 2009 incident.  
Tommy Lee Williams of Pembroke pleaded guilty on Aug. 7 in Bryan County Superior Court to one count of obstruction of a law enforcement officer. He was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Jay Stewart to five years probation and a $500 fine.
The plea was what is referred to as an open-ended Alford Plea, meaning Williams didn’t actually say he was guilty but believes the prosecutor has enough evidence to find him guilty. According to District Attorney Greg McConnell, if Williams violates his probation during the five-year time period, he could serve between 120 and 150 days in a detention center.
Williams was originally charged by the county with three counts of obstruction of a law enforcement officer, but McConnell said it was condensed to one count for his guilty plea.
Williams claimed that on April 14, 2009, Crowe excessively beat him in his own yard, according to a lawsuit filed in 2009 against Crowe and Bryan County Sheriff Clyde Smith by Savannah attorney Sage Brown on behalf of Williams and five other North Bryan residents who were also involved in the incident.
The lawsuit claimed Crowe was not wearing a badge at the time of the incident and that he used racial slurs. But a Bryan County Sheriff’s Department report from the incident contended that Crowe was wearing a badge and that Williams began swearing, approached Crowe’s vehicle and then hit Crowe.
The lawsuit against Crowe and Smith was dismissed shortly after it was filed. Brown, William’s attorney, could not be reached for comment by presstime.
During the Aug. 7 guilty plea, McConnel said Brown — on Williams’ behalf — essentially apologized for Williams’ actions and accusations during his closing remarks to the superior court on Aug. 7.
Crowe said Friday he was sure the case would work out in the end.
“I was sure that the judicial system would charge him appropriately for the crime he committed, and they did and I’m satisfied with it,” he said.

 

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