Jesse Taylor pleads guilty to stealing drugs from fire department, other crimes

Jesse Taylor's crimes influenced Houston County's decision to fire former EMA Director Chris Judah.
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 7:03 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - After prosecutors and Jesse Taylor’s attorney worked out a plea deal for the former Dothan firefighter, he admitted guilt to some of his charges.

Defense attorney Derek Yarbrough told News4 that during a brief hearing Thursday afternoon, Taylor pleaded guilty to stealing Fentanyl from the Dothan Fire Department and Computer Tampering charges.

As part of the deal, prosecutors dropped the Fentanyl Trafficking charges he faced.

“I believe the deal we made was fair to all involved,” Yarbrough said in a statement to News4.

About a year after his arrest on drug charges, police arrested Taylor a second time.

Police said he conspired with a public safety dispatch supervisor to intercept sensitive law enforcement information.

They believe he used that information to post breaking news on the RickeyStokesNews website, where Taylor used the pseudonym J.R. Tyson.

Stokes, a popular but polarizing blogger, is not implicated, but the incident impacted Houston County’s decision to fire Chris Judah, its Emergency Management Agency director.

Houston County Circuit Judge Christopher Richardson will consider probation in January for Taylor, who has been in jail since his most recent arrest last summer.

Because prosecutors dropped the Trafficking charge, Taylor can post bond.

“The Taylor family was ready to put this matter behind them and move on with their lives,” Yarbrough said.

Amy Johnson Granberry, the dispatch supervisor also charged with Computer Tampering, awaits trial.

Subscribe to our News 4 newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email every morning. Get instant notifications on top stories from News 4 by downloading our mobile apps.