Former Timmonsville clerk of court won't face third trial
TIMMONSVILLE, SC (WMBF) Wilhelmina Washington is walking away from two counts of misconduct and two counts of forgery. Washington's attorney said she will now begin to rebuild her life in peace, since she won't be taken to court for a third time.
"It has been two years. She has been through a lot. Anyone who has seen her can tell that it has taken a physical and emotional toll on her," said Patrick McLaughlin.
Patrick McLaughlin is the attorney that has represented Wilhelmina Washington since charges were brought against her back in 2011. In two previous cases that ended in mistrials the South Carolina Attorney General's Office argued that sometime in October of 2011, Washington unlawfully signed a judge's name on court documents, while working as a clerk for the Town of Timmonsville.
"From the very beginning of this whole thing, there was no question about what happened. Mrs. Washington admitted to everything that happened. Our stance was that it wasn't a criminal act," said McLaughlin.
A spokesperson with the South Carolina Attorney General's Office said after a review of the previous cases, officials decided not to pursue a third trial.
At this time, Wilhelmina and her family have decided not to speak to the media, but her attorney told WMBF how she reacted when she got word of the news.
"She was very emotional. And of course, it's always a bit overwhelming that the first words for anybody in that situation are "thank you" to me," said McLaughlin.
Timmonsville Mayor Darrick Jackson has been outspoken about Washington's innocence in the past, and he said he's glad that it is finally over.
"I was just glad for her. You know there is no real victory in this. Because you had a young lady and also, not just her but her family that had to go through this agony," said Darrick Jackson.
"A lot of people of people from different walks of life have reached out and expressed their support for her,and she is just very thankful for that," said McLaughlin.
Washington was arrested on Nov. 3, 2011 and was later released on a $2,000 personal recognizance bond. She faced two counts of forgery and two counts of misconduct.
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