Local Attorneys Speaking Out on Indictment of Former Alabama Dept. of Corrections Officer

Former Alabama Correctional Officer Willie Burks is awaiting what’s next.

The former lieutenant has been indicted for not intervening while another officer beat an inmate. He is also charged with making false statements to a grand jury.

“Lieutenant Burks was not immediately present when the incident began but he did come upon the scene and when he did, he did tell Sgt. Oliver to stop what he was doing,” said Attorney Julian McPhillips.

Attorney McPhillips says the U.S Attorney’s office has video of Burks looking like he’s watching the incident. But it does not pick up his voice. Burks is also being indicted on perjury.

“There was a dispute between him and the inmate as to whether he put the inmates handcuffs on too tight. The inmate says he did. He says he didn’t – it’s his policy not to,” said McPhillips.

McPhillips insists that Burks should not be indicted.

“We’ve got medical records that confirm that at that time – maybe he shouldn’t have been at work but was. He was under very serious physical stress and strain,” said Burks.

Attorney Joe Guillot who is also representing Burks says it all boils down to the current state of the Department of Corrections.

“We’re asking officers like Lieutenant Burks and others to do the job and they do the job but when things like this occur, they’re held to such a high standard and they want to dismiss them for things that are largely beyond their control,” said Guillot.

“That’s why I’ve been saying for the last several years and I’ll keep saying it that we need a new commissioner in the department of corrections,” said McPhillips.

Attorney McPhillips says he has been informed that there will be additional witness statements coming regarding the case.


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