Former Sheriff Convicted

After two hours of deliberation former Washington County Sheriff Stanley James was found guilty of the felony charge of embezzlement. James was sentenced to 60 days behind bars then 48 months of probation. James is also ordered to pay nearly $2,700 in restitution to Washington County. Both the defense and prosecution focused their closing arguments on the check in question and James' handling of county money while sheriff. The defense argued James honestly believed the check he received for housing a military inmate at the Washington County jail for nearly $2,700 did not have to go through the county finance office first. The prosecution argued what James did wasn't a mistake, that he repeatedly mishandled money while sheriff. The state said the smoking gun was a file of the military inmate found in James' desk. The same inmate the state says James received money for housing but never told any county officials about. James is ordered to turn himself in at the Martin County Sheriffs Office Monday. As part of James' probation, District Attorney Seth Edwards says James cannot run for sheriff for four years.