Former chief investigator pleads guilty to two charges

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ACKERMAN, Miss. (WCBI) – The fallout continued in Webster County.

Former Webster County Chief Investigator Landon Griffin pled guilty to two criminal charges in court Monday afternoon.

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Griffin pled guilty to one count of embezzlement and one count of transferring a stolen firearm.

“Today’s guilty plea is done with an abundance of humbleness,” said Francis Springer, Griffin’s attorney. “We realize what’s been done. The plea today was taken from the bottom of the heart.”

After the guilty plea, prosecutors recommended Griffin serve 10 years behind bars and five years probation once he’s released.

“Mr. Griffin believes in the law and he does own up to those two charges and that’s why he entered his plea,” said Springer.

Griffin joined the Webster County Sheriff’s Department in 2016.

He was arrested in January not long after being fired from the sheriff’s department.

His plea came on the heels of former Webster County Sheriff Tim Mitchell’s guilty plea just last week.

“Anyone hates to see a law enforcement officer charged with committing a crime, but of course you hate to see them commit the crime to start with. It shouldn’t happen,” said Doug Evans, District Attorney in Mississippi’s Fifth Circuit Court District.

Evans expressed that this situation negatively impacts the perception of law enforcement officers.

“People have to respect the law and know that they can trust the law,” said Evans.

However, he hoped this sends a message that no one is above the law, not even those wearing a badge.

“That’s the way it’s supposed to be,” Evans expressed. “It doesn’t matter who you are, you can’t break the law. I’m hoping that what this would show is that everyone is going to be treated the same whether they are an officer or not an officer, you have to follow the law.”

All of the other charges that Griffin was initially indicted on are now being dropped due to Monday’s plea agreement.

Griffin and Mitchell will both be back in court on July 30th for their sentencing.

Former Webster County jailer Santana Townsend was also charged in the investigation.

She goes to trial in January.

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