Former State Rep. Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) will serve five years of community corrections and two years of probation with no jail time for his Class B felony theft of property conviction earlier this year.
Dismukes was indicted in June 2021 of theft of property "in excess of $2,500" from Weiss Commercial Flooring between the years of 2016 to 2018. The indictment claims the theft occurred in materials, not hard cash.
Dismukes pleaded not guilty in August 2021.
A jury found Dismukes guilty in April. He was set for sentencing in May. However, the court moved sentencing to July 17 after Dismukes' father, Bill Dismukes, took his own life.
Dismukes' sister, Nikki Brothers, filed a written letter with the court, urging the judge not to grant leniency due to Bill Dismukes' suicide, claiming that Will Dismukes had precipitated the death.
The filing also contained a letter allegedly written by Bill Dismukes and left under a tractor for Brothers to find. The letter claims, "Will lied and stole and murdered me."
According to court documents, standard guidelines typically constitute a non-prison sentence. However, the jury also convicted Dismukes of two aggravating factors, which could have warranted a 20-year sentence.
The two aggravating factors are that the offense "involved a fiduciary relationship between the defendant and the victim." And that the crime "involved a high degree of sophistication or planning, occurred over a lengthy period of time, and/or involved a single victim victimized more than once."
Ultimately, Circuit Judge Brooke Reid gave Dismukes a split sentence of five years of community corrections and two years of probation. According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Dismukes must also pay over $43,000 in restitution.
Individual counties dole out community corrections programs and include supervision up to possible day reporting, drug testing, support classes, community service and more.
Dismukes' attorney, Richard White, asked for a non-prison sentence due to Dismukes' lack of criminal history and positive community activities.
"The defense asks this Honorable Court to look past why we are here and look at Mr. Dismukes' life as a whole," White wrote in a court filing. "Mr. Dismukes has positively impacted his community and many people around him. One poor decision does not define Mr. Dismukes. As mentioned above, Mr. Dismukes has contributed to his community and touched the lives of many through ministry. His family, now more than ever, depends on him. Mr. Dismukes is committed to bettering himself to make a better life for his family and friends. The defense asks this Honorable Court to sentence Mr. Dismukes to three years suspended with a term of one year unsupervised probation."
White also suggested in his filing that the case had become "politically charged," likely due to the criticism Dismukes faced for attending a memorial birthday party for Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest in 2020.
Dismukes was first elected to the House in 2018. He lost re-election in 2022 in the Republican primary for the House District 88 seat to State Rep. Jerry Starnes (R-Prattville). The criminal complaint against Dismukes was not filed until after his election.
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