Closing arguments in murder trial of ex-sheriff
ALBANY, Georgia (CNN) -- Closing arguments began Monday in the murder and racketeering trial of a former Atlanta, Georgia-area sheriff charged with ordering the killing of the man who defeated him in an election.
Former DeKalb County Sheriff Sidney Dorsey is charged with the murder of his elected successor, Derwin Brown, who was killed in December 2000. Dorsey is also charged with running a corrupt sheriff's office between 1997 and 2000.
The trial began in mid-June, and the jury was unsequestered throughout last week for the long Fourth of July holiday break.
Dorsey, 63, could get life in prison without parole if convicted. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.
In February a grand jury returned a 19-count indictment against Dorsey. Prosecutors allege Dorsey was involved in the killing of Brown because the sheriff-elect was planning to expose corruption in the sheriff's department under Dorsey.
During his campaign, Brown had promised to reform the sheriff's department and had planned to fire 38 deputies, according to prosecutors. Brown had pledged to authorize an outside audit of the jail's $50 million budget.
Brown was shot dead in his residential driveway on December 15, 2000, as he returned from a party celebrating the end of his sheriff's training.
Patrick Cuffy, whom Dorsey had hired as a jailer, said he planned the killing at Dorsey's request.
Cuffy, the state's star witness, has received immunity in exchange for his testimony.
The trial was moved from Decatur to Albany, 150 miles south because of extensive pretrial publicity.
Ex-Georgia sheriff indicted on murder
February 22, 2002
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