Attorney General calls for harsh sentencing for former Limestone County judge

AG Steve Marshall says he hopes an example is made out of former judge Doug Patterson
Updated: Dec. 2, 2020 at 2:03 PM CST
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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - Alabama’s Attorney General Steve Marshall is calling for a strict sentencing for a former Limestone County judge indicted on theft and ethics charges.

Doug Patterson pleaded guilty to those charges in October.

He’s now convicted of using his office for personal gain, financial exploitation of the elderly and theft.

Patterson was appointed as a District Judge in Limestone County in April of 2016.

His former colleague, Judge Robert Baker, says Patterson started stealing 32 days later.

Judge Baker submitted a detailed letter to the state earlier this week discussing the severity of Patterson’s crimes.

He writes, Patterson used his position as a district judge to steal $7,500 from a juvenile fund, but that wasn’t all.

During court proceedings, WAFF 48 News learned Patterson stole around $50,000 more from that juvenile fund, as well as the same amount, or more, from a disabled marine veteran.

Attorney General Steve Marshall also called Patterson’s crimes “wicked.”

”He stole from the disabled, he stole from the dead, and he stole form the children of Limestone county. In Short, Patterson stole from those who couldn’t protect themselves,” Marshall said.

Marshall submitted a 13-page plea for Patterson’s strict sentencing to the state last week. Marshall and Baker both say that a steep sentence is deserved, especially when a public official violates an oath.

”When powerful people commit crimes, powerful consequences should follow,” Marshall said.

Judge Baker says he expects Patterson to be sentenced to the highest degree possible.

AG Marshall echoed that saying a base sentence for Patterson is 15 years and one day in a state prison.

The former judge’s sentencing is Tuesday, December 8th.

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