Judge Rules In Scoggins’ Criminal Trial on Deer Hunting Incident
TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WHNT) – Six months after being charged with shooting a deer from his patrol car, former Muscle Shoals Police officer Greg Scoggins appeared in court Tuesday morning for a bench trial in Colbert County District Court.
After several witnesses were called by the state, District Judge Chad Coker deliberated for just 10 minutes before handing down his verdict.
Coker found Scoggins not guilty of reckless endangerment, and not guilty of shooting from a motorized vehicle.
“There was not any credible evidence, especially evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, that the court could put Greg Scoggins in the car shooting a weapon towards Second Street,” explained defense attorney Johnnie Franks. “And that was the basis of the charge.”
The one charge Greg Scoggins was found guilty of is hunting without the land owner’s permission. But defense attorney Billy Underwood is bringing even that into question.
“We are not finished, we can get this reversed on appeal,” said Underwood. “Even the judge had to say he was not sure he was ruling right, but he ruled for the government.”
Underwood is referring to Judge Coker stating he was unsure jurisdiction over the case belonged in his court.
Billy Underwood contends this case should have been handled in the federal court system due to a 1998 agreement between the state and government never getting proper approval.
During his verdict reading, Judge Chad Coker ordered Scoggins to pay a $1,000 fine for the guilty verdict of hunting without the land owner’s permission.
Colbert County Circuit Judge Jackie Hatcher rule on Scoggins’ appeal for his job by late July.
Defense attorneys state the Muscle Shoals Civil Service Board never gave Scoggins a fair hearing.