Ex-cop asks for probation

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It remains unknown if a former Andalusia Police Department officer will serve jail time after pleading guilty to drug distribution in May.

On Tuesday, Circuit Judge Lex Short heard an application for probation from Joshua Chad Wood, the officer arrested by Drug Task Force agents in 2008 for allegedly trading prescription pills for sex.

Those lobbying on Wood’s behalf were five Opp residents including Mayor H.D. Edgar; police chief Nickey Carnley; state probation officer Ray Finedore; Opp police officer Capt. Jenkins Logan; and Wood’s high school teacher, Barbara Schofield.

Each was questioned on whether or not they believed Wood is a good candidate for probation. All cited their years long association with Wood and answered, “yes.”

Representing the state was Assistant District Attorney Grace Jeter.

“The fact of it is that I hold you to a high standard,” Judge Short said to Wood. “If you were not a police officer, I would probably grant you probation. But, I wrestle with the decision. I’ve not made up my mind. I want you to know I do hold you to a higher standard and because of that, you’re not getting an answer today. I’ll issue an order on it.”

Wood was arrested by DTF agents after it was discovered he was providing a police escort inside the city limits to known drug dealers to protect them from police contact. Wood was caught following an undercover operation at a local motel.

He had the prescription pills in his possession and it was alleged he was trading them for sex.

In May, Wood entered his plea before Judge Short and received a 97-month sentence per a plea agreement.

He immediately applied for probation.

Short said he will issue a ruling on the probation request in the coming days.