As of March 4, 2016, the Washington County State’s Attorney has filed 33 felony cases in 2016, according to Heath Hooks, Washington County State’s Attorney. “That puts us on track to file 189 cases this year, more than double the felonies filed in 2015 and more than any year in at least the last 15 years,” said Hooks.
Felony convictions are also up sharply. The State’s Attorney has already achieved felony convictions in 15 cases in 2016, including cases awaiting sentencing. Two of those cases were jury verdicts, and 13 were guilty pleas. “If that trend continues, we will achieve 86 felony convictions by the end of 2016, more than any year since 2003.”
Five of the 15 felony convictions were Okawville Police Department cases. Okawville Chief of Police Steve Milliken said that, “the State’s Attorney is working very hard to bring our felony cases to felony conviction. We greatly appreciate the hard work and dedication of the State’s Attorney’s Office. Okawville Police Department criminal cases and call volume are also up by approximately one-third versus the first 2 months of 2015.”
Nashville Chief of Police Brian Fletcher stated, “Nashville officers are working very hard to get illegal drugs off of our streets. It is gratifying to see that the cases we are sending to the State’s Attorney are resulting in increased felony convictions. A new tool that has helped with this increase is the use of our K-9, Ava.”
Hooks credits the record numbers to the hard work of the law enforcement in Washington County and his office staff. “The officers in the various agencies here in Washington County are some of the most dedicated and hard-working officers anywhere. As illicit drug activity has increased in our county recently, our officers have stepped up their efforts and tightened up their procedures to ensure that searches and arrests stand up in Court. My office staff also works very hard to keep me organized. As our caseload increases, their experience and dedication is invaluable to me and to the people of Washington County.”