Community reacts to sheriff’s guilty plea

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WEBSTER COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – The news of Sheriff Tim Mitchell’s guilty plea has spread quickly through Webster County.

In court on Wednesday, Mitchell pled guilty to two counts of trafficking firearms and two counts of embezzlement.

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Residents called the news disheartening and said although Mitchell is the sheriff, that still doesn’t make him above the law.

They believe if he committed the crime, he must do the time.

“He did the crime, he deserves what he gets,” said Richard Gilbert, of Webster County.

“It causes questions to the integrity of the local government,” said Perry Perkins, who also lives in Webster County.

Many in the community said Wednesday’s plea didn’t come as a shocker.

“I wasn’t surprised because I actually knew he did it,” said Thomas Robinson, Webster County resident. “Actually, he kind of sold to a couple of my buddies.”

“He got drugs off the street but honestly, in the long run, he was just lining his own pockets with money,” said Gilbert.

Mitchell is set to serve to 15 years behind bars.

However, some believed the sentence should’ve been longer.

“If he did four counts he should get 15 years for every count,” said Linda Cork, of Webster County.

Residents admitted this fallout has left a bad taste in their mouth and has cast a negative shadow over the sheriff’s department.

“Whoever becomes sheriff next, the people in this town don’t know if they can trust them or not,” Gilbert expressed.

“It hurts my feelings that the department has that record now, but it’ll take a lot to come back from,” said Perry Perkins, Webster County resident.

Those who live in Webster County said they’re confident trust will eventually be restored back into the community in due time.

However, as far as their new sheriff, residents said they want someone who’s involved in the community and will show a commitment to running the department and county the right way.

“I wish that the next administration would be more prudent in carrying out the justice and keeping things clean,” Perkins explained. “I realize that tracking down criminals and things like that is fairly difficult and you have to be a little dirty to catch them, yet at the same time there’s a line that you can not cross.”

“Whoever becomes the full-time sheriff when the election comes, they need to be able to do the opposite of what the sheriff did previously,” said Gilbert.

The Webster County Chancery Clerk’s office told WCBI that as of late Wednesday evening Mitchell hadn’t submitted his letter of resignation.

We’re told it’s likely no action will be taken on this matter until the next board of supervisors meeting which will take place this upcoming Monday.

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