Former sheriff guilty in rival's murder
ALBANY, Georgia (CNN) -- Former DeKalb County Sheriff Sidney Dorsey was found guilty Wednesday of arranging the murder of his elected successor, Derwin Brown, who was shot 11 times in his driveway just days before he was to take office.
Dorsey, 63, could be sentenced to life in prison without parole. Prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty. No sentencing date was set.
The jurors, who began deliberations Monday, also convicted Dorsey on 11 of 14 other charges accusing him of sanctioning widespread corruption in the suburban Atlanta sheriff's department -- problems Brown had promised to clear up as sheriff. Brown had vowed to fire dozens of employees once he took office.
Dorsey was acquitted of two counts of bribery and one count of theft.
Prosecutors alleged Dorsey recruited the men who fatally shot Brown in December 2000, because the sheriff-elect was planning to expose corruption within the department. In February, a grand jury returned a 19-count indictment.
Brown's widow, Phyllis, tearfully grabbed her throat and mouthed "thank you" to the jurors when the verdicts were read. She then hugged those around her.
"There is something called justice," she added. "I can't even describe anything right now. I'm just glad it is over."
Dorsey, wearing a dark suit, remained stoic in the courtroom, while his family seemed dismayed.
Patrick Cuffy, whom Dorsey had hired as a jailer, said he planned the killing at Dorsey's request. Cuffy, the star witness, received immunity for his testimony.
Two other men allegedly involved in the plot, Melvin Walker and David Ramsey, were acquitted of murder charges in a separate trial.
The trial was moved from Decatur to Albany, about 150 miles south of Atlanta, because of intense pretrial publicity.
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Ex-Georgia sheriff indicted on murder
February 22, 2002
Ex-deputy charged with making false statements
March 13, 2001
Death of a sheriff-elect in Georgia: A widow's tale
December 21, 2000
Authorities call murder of Georgia sheriff-elect a 'professional hit'
December 21, 2000
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