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A prominent Colbert County attorney is facing a charge of bribing a juror following a grand jury indictment.
William J. "Billy" Underwood surrendered at the Colbert County Jail Monday afternoon following the felony indictment.
“Our jury system is the cornerstone to the justice system in our country," said Attorney General Steve Marshall, "My office will always work diligently to ensure that our citizens can be confident that justice will prevail when they go into a courtroom in our state."
State prosecutors are not releasing any futher details on the investigation. They did not say which case Underwood was working where he is accused of bribing a juror.
WAAY 31 spoke with Underwood at his office on Tuesday. He said he will continue to practice as an attorney until the conclusion of his case. He said he is currently handling 50 to 100 cases.
Underwood said officials are accusing him of bribing a potential juror on a civil case he wasn't even a part of. Underwood said he did not bribe a juror.
Underwood's legal representation released a statement shortly after his arrest on Monday.
Tuscumbia attorney Billy Underwood has been charged with attempting to bribe a prospective juror in a case where that individual never went to the courthouse and a jury was never empaneled.
'Mr. William Hovater and I are proud to represent Mr. Underwood on a case that I am very surprised has been brought. Mr. Underwood is alleged to have attempted to influence a juror in a case in which he was not an attorney nor would have received a fee,' stated W. Brent Woodall.
Jeff Bowling, an attorney from Franklin County, stated that he has known Underwood for over twenty years and that he is one of the most honest attorneys with whom he has dealt. Cliff Wright, who has practiced law in Lauderdale County for many years, likewise recognizes Underwood to be an honest attorney.
Mr. Woodall, who has prosecuted cases for the Alabama Attorney General’s Office and for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama, expressed confidence that there will be a good outcome of this case. Mr. Hovater, who has practiced law in Colbert County for over 37 years, is also certain that this case will be resolved in Mr. Underwood’s favor.
Underwood was released from the Colbert County Jail on bail following his Monday afternoon arrest. He could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.