Educator convicted of harassment by Lauderdale County jury

By Christie Ileto - bio | email
Posted by Dana Franks - email

FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - It took a little more than two hours for the jury to hand down a guilty verdict for a misdemeanor count of harassment for a Lauderdale County educator.

The verdict was given for a much lesser crime than Allen Wilson's initial charge of second-degree felony assault. It's the least of the three possible charges, but still a disappointment for the defense.

Shortly after the verdict was handed down by a jury of eight women and four men, Wilson said he still doesn't agree with their decision.

"I am disappointed that I wasn't found innocent," Wilson said. "Twelve people made a decision and they found me guilty of harassment. I will have to accept that."

Prosecutors said Wilson, a teacher at Brooks High School, assaulted school administrator Danny Belew in February.

"I still believe I was innocent and that it was self defense," Wilson told WAFF 48 News.

That was an argument Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly refuted based on surveillance video that captured the altercation.

"He struck the victim four separate times with his fist," Connolly said. "It's hard to say I'm acting in self-defense when hit a guy twice before I've been hit at all."

Connolly said the message he stressed was accountability.

"The defendant wasn't held accountable for his actions and up until the jury verdict, he had refused to accept responsibility for this attack," he said.

The alleged incident took place at the Allen Thornton Career Technical Center, and was caught on tape. But now a chapter has closed, with lessons learned.

"I am thankful for the jury system," Wilson said. "I am also responsible. The jury was responsible, and I'll take my responsibilities."

Those are responsibilities Wilson readily receives as he continues his quest to clear his name and prove his innocence.

Allen Wilson's sentencing on the harassment conviction is set for August 11.

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