Former Chief Deputy on trial for 2 counts of fraud - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Former Chief Deputy on trial for 2 counts of fraud

The last conviction on any adultery charge happened in Massachusetts in 1983. The last conviction on any adultery charge happened in Massachusetts in 1983.
LAWRENCE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

A Lawrence County Jury has worked hard to decide the fate of a former Chief Deputy. Harold Knighten was on trial for two counts of fraud, both are felonies.

While Knighten was Chief Deputy in 2012, investigators said he used the Law Enforcement Tactical System database to try and get information on the man sleeping with his wife. In Alabama, adultery is a misdemeanor, and Knighten's defense attorney claimed since he had probable cause that the affair was going on, what he did could be technically called part of a criminal investigation, but the jury didn't buy it.

Colbert County District Attorney Gary Alverson was brought in to prosecute the case. He argued that Knighten's intent was not investigative, it was personal, and that what he did was an abuse of power. An ABI investigator testified Friday that Knighten told him it was not part of an investigation.

Investigators testified that Knighten sat in a parked sheriff's vehicle within Chris Hoods Town Creek Home multiple times. They also testified that while the affair was going on, Knighten entered the LETS database searching Hood's background, and that he ran license plate tag checks on people who visited Hood and contacted them on Facebook.

There are laws against adultery still on the books in Alabama. Eight other states, as well as the US Military, also have statues still in place. However, the last conviction on any adultery charge happened in Massachusetts in 1983. Legal experts said recent Supreme Court rulings made it virtually impossible to prosecute adultery as a crime.

Knighten was found guilty of two charges for crimes against intellectual properties.

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