Third sentenced in drug planting scheme
Dec 18, 2013 | 1094 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A third man has been sentenced in a drug planting scheme involving former Murray County Chief Magistrate Judge Bryant Cochran.

Twenty-seven year old Clifford J. Joyce entered a guilty plea in June to one count of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine after placing a metal container containing the drug under a wheel well of a car belonging to Angela Garmley in August of last year.

Cochran was Joyce’s landlord. Garmley and a friend were arrested and charged after a deputy located the drugs in a traffic stop.

The charges were dropped. Garmley had recently accused Cochran of inappropriate sexual behavior when she had a case before the judge.

Cochran denied those allegations, but did resign from office shortly after winning re-election, admitting to presigning warrants.

Joyce was sentenced last week in federal court in Rome, Ga. to 18 months in prison.

The deputy, Josh Greeson, and his supervisor, Captain Mike Henderson, were both dismissed from the Murray County Sheriff’s Office after lying to investigators during an investigation by the GBI. Both pleaded guilty to obstruction charges and eventually said that Cochran had given them the tip about drugs being in Garmley’s car.

Henderson was sentenced to one year and one day in prison and Greeson to ten months in prison. Both will be placed on probation following their release from prison.

Cochran has also been the defendant in lawsuits filed by Garmley as well as clerks in his office who also claimed sexual harassment.

Garmley’s attorney, McCracken Poston, said “ In the three sentencing hearings, the U.S. government has stated to the court that...Bryant Cochran asked multiple officers to pull over Ms. Garmley's car; and that the then-judge Cochran even told officers where the drugs could be found on the car. Friday, we heard the government state that Mr. Joyce planted the drugs on the Garmley car ‘for his landlord.’ We know that Joyce rented from Cochran. I will let these words from the U.S. Attorney over the three sentencing hearings suffice as my statement."