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Clay County Detective Reprimanded After Wrongfully Arrested Teen Did Jail Time

Clay County Sheriff's Office

A Clay County Detective has been suspended for 10 days without pay for conducting an investigation that resulted in the wrongful arrest and imprisonment of a 17-year-old on a rape charge.Cody Lee Williams was charged as an adult in a child sexual battery case, and spent more than a month in Clay County jail before the mistake was discovered and he was released.

According to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Detective Johnny Hawkins arrested the teenager after the 12-year-old victim identified Cody Williams.

But, Hawkins failed to conduct a photo line-up with the victim to make sure they had arrested the right man, which, as it turns out, they had not.

The suspect they were supposed to arrest went to the same high school as Cody Lee Williams, but his name was Cody Raymond Williams. He has since been arrested and charged with the crime.  

A disciplinary hearing was held this morning for Detective Johnny Hawkins. In addition to a 10 day unpaid suspension, Hawkins has also been transferred to the Patrol Division.

In a written statement issued today, Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler apologized to Cody Lee Williams and promised to try and make things right. 

You can follow Cyd Hoskinson on Twitter @cydwjctnews.

Cyd Hoskinson began working at WJCT on Valentine’s Day 2011.