Jury Finds Olivia Reynolds Guilty In Voter Fraud Trial

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DOTHAN, AL It took jurors less than three hours to find a Dothan woman guilty of voter fraud charges.

A jury found Olivia Lee Reynolds guilty on 24 felony counts of absentee ballot fraud in connection with alleged misconduct during the 2013 election of Dothan City Commissioner Amos Newsome. Reynolds is reportedly Newsome's girlfriend and she lives with the District 2 Commissioner.

The trial wrapped up quickly after the prosecution rested it's case on Wednesday morning. The defense chose to call no witnesses, and Reynolds did not testify on her own behalf.

Reynolds worked on Newsome's re-election campaign in 2013. Newsome defeated Lamesa Danzey on the strength of absentee ballots, receiving 119 of 124 absentee ballots votes cast. Danzey had defeated Newsome at the polls, but Newsome retained his seat as District 2 Commissioner on the strength of his absentee showing, winning by a total of 14 votes.

The Houston County Sheriff began investigating potential voter fraud in 2014, eventually arresting Reynolds in May of that year. She was charged with promoting illegal absentee voting.

During Reynolds' trial, several witnesses for the prosecution testified that Reynolds filled out their ballots, portions of their ballots or instructed them who to vote for. Four of the witnesses testified they did not want to vote for Newsome, but did so anyway.

According to Alabama law, two people must actually witness an absentee ballot being filled out for it to count.

WTVY attempted to speak with Reynolds following the verdict. She gave no comment to all of WTVY's questions.

The sentencing phase of the trial will begin on September 15th.

Reynolds is one of three suspects in the voter fraud scheme to go to trial. A fourth suspect, Daniel Webster Reynolds III, will go to trial on October 26th on three counts of felony absentee fraud.

Lesa Coleman was found guilty on seven counts of felony absentee ballot fraud in April. She received a three-year split sentence, serving the 180 days in the Houston County Jail, and three years probation.

Janice Hart pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor absentee ballot frad charge, receiving a 12-month sentence in the Houston County Jail. That sentence was then suspended for two years probation.



 
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