Phillips could stay in county jail

Published 11:59 pm Monday, October 12, 2009

At the end of her 15-day deadline, former Covington County Probate Judge Sherrie Phillips will follow the same process “as anyone else booked into the county jail,” Sheriff Dennis Meeks said Monday.

Phillips, who was convicted in October 2008 of theft by deception of $1.8 million and intentionally using her position for unlawful personal gain and sentenced in November 2008, was notified Friday her appeals request was denied by the Alabama Supreme Court. As a result, she must now surrender to the county sheriff within 15 days.

When she arrives, it will be business as usual, Meeks said.

“First, she has to turn herself in, and I’m sure she’ll wait until the 15th day to do that,” he said. “Now, that could be five minutes before midnight on Oct. 24. Until then, the ball is in her court.

“Once she arrives, she will face the same booking process as anyone else,” he said.

Meeks said once the booking process is completed, Phillips would be placed in the female section of the county jail because “I have nowhere else to put her,” and wait until the state’s Department of Corrections gives notice it will accept her.

“What happens is her transcript is sent up, which will place her in their system,” he said. “From there, it will go to the transfer division, who has a 30-day window to tell us when to bring her.

“She’s technically a state prisoner already,” he said. “We will just be housing her, and from that point, she’s basically in a holding point until the DOC calls for her.”

At the time of her transfer, Phillips will be sent to the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, where she will begin serving two concurrent sentences of 10 years, which were split for her to serve three years incarceration. Once released, Phillips must undergo three years of supervised probation.

Montgomery County Circuit Judge Charles Price, who issued the split sentence, will retain jurisdiction over the case, which means he could enter an order to release Phillips before her three years are up.

Meeks said he has had no communication with Phillips and does not know when she intends to turn herself in.