Former Ala. judge sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in meth case in Miss.

Published 4:02 pm Friday, October 12, 2007

A former west Alabama judge who pleaded guilty to methamphetamine charges was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment Wednesday after describing how his addictions spiraled out of control.

Ira D. Colvin, who was arrested last year in Mississippi, was immediately taken into custody.

The former district judge must serve five years of supervised release after finishing his prison term, said prosecutor Rhonda Hayes-Ellis.

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“Meth is a terrible drug, and it has terrible effects on everyone involved,” Hayes-Ellis said outside court. “It’s certainly unfortunate.”

Colvin was appointed to the judgeship in 2002, and he was removed from the bench after being charged. He still faces drug charges in Alabama, where authorities said meth was found in his office in Carrollton following his arrest.

During a three-hour sentencing hearing, Colvin described how he became addicted first to alcohol, then prescription medication and finally methamphetamine. He pleaded guilty to possessing precursors used to make the drug.

A woman who was arrested with Colvin, Ashley Watkins of Gordo, Ala., pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against Colvin. She awaits sentencing. Hayes-Ellis said Colvin claimed he paid Watkins to go to stores and purchase drug ingredients for him.

Colvins wife, Christy Dawn Colvin, was arrested in Columbus on a similar charge only four months before his arrest. Her initial possession of meth charge was reduced to possession of a controlled substance in exchange for a guilty plea. She was given a six-month suspended jail sentence and ordered to complete drug rehabilitation.

Colvin was indicted in May 2004 on federal bankruptcy fraud charges alleging he hid $25,000 in assets for a client in 2001 while still working as a private attorney. The charges were dropped after Colvin apologized, and he won a term as district judge in November 2004.