Former cop again appeals extortion conviction

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 20, 2010

A former Vicksburg police officer convicted of taking bribes to protect what he thought were shipments of cocaine into the city has asked a federal judge to throw out his sentence.

Kevin Dewayne Williams contends he relied on erroneous advice from his attorney during his October 2007 criminal trial to plead guilty to an extortion charge, according to a motion filed this week in federal court in Jackson.

He was sentenced initially to 188 months in prison by U.S. District Judge David Bramlette. It was upheld last year by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which also upheld the subsequent reduction of his sentence to 120 months by the district court.

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The reduction was due to the court’s taking into account Williams’ service in the Army after his indictment.

At the time of his conviction, Williams was represented by Jackson-based attorney Sanford Knott. Vicksburg-based attorney Josie Mayfield Hudson has represented Williams since in his appeal process.

Williams claims in the new court documents that he was led to believe he would get a shorter prison sentence by pleading guilty although there was no plea agreement with prosecutors.

Prosecutors say Williams took bribes totaling $3,000 in November 2002 and May 2003 from undercover FBI officers. At the time, Williams was a sergeant in the city’s narcotics division.

Williams, 39, was arrested in March 2007 in Hawaii, where he was serving as an Army military police officer.

He is serving his sentence at a federal prison camp in Seagoville, Texas, a low-security facility near Dallas. His release date is Dec. 1, 2016, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Danny Barrett Jr. at