STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Guilty plea set for last defendant in prison bribery scheme

The final person facing charges in an alleged kickback scheme involving Mississippi's former corrections commissioner plans to plead guilty.

Posted: Apr 2, 2018 1:38 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The final person facing charges in an alleged kickback scheme involving Mississippi's former corrections commissioner plans to plead guilty.

Federal court records show insurance agent Guy "Butch" Evans will plead guilty April 24. He could be the last person convicted in one of the largest bribery schemes uncovered in recent Mississippi history. Former Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps acknowledged accepting more than $1.4 million in bribes from private contractors and is serving a nearly 20-year prison sentence.

Defense lawyers for Evans did not respond Friday to phone calls and emails seeking comment.

Evans was indicted in 2016 for making cash payments of $1,400 to $1,700 a month from January 2013 to May 2014 to Epps in exchange for the prison system's insurance business. That's at least $23,800 Evans is accused of passing to Epps in meetings in the parking lot of Corrections Department headquarters or in restaurants. The indictment says Evans was kicking back part of his commission from insurance sales, and also cites wire transfers that Evans made.

Court papers suggest that Evans confessed wrongdoing to FBI agents.

A grand jury indicted Evans on charges of conspiracy and bribery, which carried a possible prison sentence of up to 30 years, plus fines of up to $500,000. Evans pleaded not guilty and his trial had been repeatedly delayed, but was proceeding toward starting on April 9.

Court papers say Evans will waive indictment and plead guilty to a separate charge that prosecutors have not yet filed, instead of pleading guilty to one or more of the counts in the indictment. That arrangement that is sometimes used in plea bargains to allow a defendant to admit to a less serious crime.

The government had also demanded that Evans forfeit the more than $44,000 he gained from the scheme.

Eight other people have been convicted so far. A ninth person, former Harrison County Supervisor William Martin, killed himself in 2015, hours before he was due in federal court on bribery charges.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 98190

Reported Deaths: 2969
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7179161
DeSoto567863
Harrison391774
Jackson355370
Rankin334679
Madison333190
Lee280471
Forrest252476
Jones251580
Washington226379
Lafayette220840
Lauderdale2077126
Bolivar185770
Oktibbeha181152
Lamar174336
Lowndes159858
Neshoba1597104
Panola151231
Sunflower148546
Leflore142681
Warren141550
Pontotoc129316
Pike124953
Monroe124669
Copiah119933
Scott117727
Coahoma116730
Lincoln112353
Marshall111821
Holmes110060
Grenada109836
Yazoo106631
Simpson105047
Tate101238
Union100224
Leake96338
Adams94537
Wayne91221
Pearl River90953
Prentiss87918
Marion87136
Itawamba85021
Alcorn83211
Covington83023
George78413
Newton77824
Tallahatchie77724
Winston74619
Tishomingo70338
Chickasaw69224
Tippah68718
Attala67225
Clarke61048
Walthall60426
Clay59918
Hancock59522
Jasper58115
Noxubee55816
Smith54515
Calhoun52712
Tunica49915
Montgomery46920
Claiborne46516
Yalobusha44214
Lawrence43714
Perry42821
Greene38917
Quitman3875
Stone37913
Humphreys37715
Jefferson Davis34611
Amite34210
Webster33913
Carroll32312
Wilkinson30718
Kemper29115
Sharkey26614
Jefferson2429
Benton2333
Franklin1973
Choctaw1876
Issaquena1053
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 137564

Reported Deaths: 2399
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19938351
Mobile13507293
Montgomery8866185
Tuscaloosa8837118
Madison798179
Shelby607449
Lee597161
Baldwin560650
Marshall397543
Calhoun355644
Etowah354845
Morgan333428
Houston293921
Elmore271948
DeKalb244321
St. Clair235936
Walker235485
Talladega217830
Limestone214420
Cullman191920
Dallas179826
Franklin179130
Autauga178727
Russell17683
Lauderdale175133
Colbert167726
Blount162115
Escambia161624
Jackson159712
Chilton159530
Covington140727
Dale140344
Coffee13716
Pike121611
Chambers117542
Tallapoosa117185
Clarke110316
Marion97529
Butler91740
Barbour8867
Winston75013
Marengo72620
Pickens67014
Randolph66613
Lowndes65927
Bibb65810
Hale64928
Geneva6444
Lawrence63425
Cherokee61713
Bullock60714
Clay5918
Monroe5908
Washington56012
Crenshaw54332
Perry5426
Conecuh53911
Wilcox53211
Henry5105
Macon48318
Fayette4689
Sumter43719
Cleburne3945
Lamar3822
Choctaw35112
Greene30515
Coosa1743
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 79°
Columbus
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 76°
Oxford
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 73°
Starkville
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 68°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather