Ex-Sheriff Indicted on Murder Charge

A former sheriff was charged Friday in the murder of his successor and corruption while in office.

A 19-count grand jury indictment against former DeKalb County Sheriff Sidney Dorsey also included theft, bribery, violating an oath of office, racketeering and illegal use of an inmate.

Sheriff-elect Derwin Brown was shot to death in front of his home Dec. 15, 2000. Prosecutors say Dorsey masterminded Brown's assassination because Brown was helping authorities investigate allegations of corruption in the sheriff's office and the county jail.

The DeKalb County grand jury made its decision after hearing testimony from 50 witnesses. Dorsey testified for more than three hours Thursday.

He said nothing when he came out of court, but he nodded when asked if he had made his point to jurors.

"To be falsely charged with the killing of your successor, a fellow police officer, it's hard to imagine worse things," said Dorsey's attorney, Brian Steel.

In exchange for immunity, former deputy Patrick Cuffy, the state's key witness, told police he was one of four men who went to Brown's house the night he was gunned down in his driveway. He said they were acting on instructions from Dorsey.

Also charged with murder in Brown's death are ex-deputy Melvin Walker and David Ramsey, an acquaintance of Cuffy's. Their trial is set for March 11.