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Crime News Deadly Power

Sidney Dorsey: The Respected Sheriff Who Ordered A Hit On His Rival

He couldn't stand to lose the election.

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy
Deadly Power 103: A Fatal Rivalry

Sidney Dorsey lost the Dekalb County sheriff election against Derwin Brown in 2000, and instead of graciously handing over the title, Dorsey ordered the murder of his rival. 

On the surface, Sidney Dorsey seemed to have it all. He was DeKalb's first black sheriff and married to Atlanta councilwoman Sherry Dorsey. Brown was a beloved police veteran who won the election by promising to clean up corruption, which, incidentally, was something that Dorsey and others were being investigated for.

Oxygen's "Deadly Power" revisited the case and explained how on December 15, 2000, Brown was ambushed as he was coming home from a party. He was hit by at least 10 bullets and fell while holding flowers that he had brought home for his wife, Phyllis, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. It was just three days before he was to take office.

"If Sidney did something to my husband, I'm going to kill him," Phyllis said to the 911 dispatcher that night, according to The New York Times.

Dorsey, 61, denied involvement in the murder. However, district attorney J. Tom Morgan believed that the motive for the murder was "political revenge," according to The New York Times.

Patrick Cuffy, one of the men involved in the hit, became an informant and struck a plea deal with the prosecution. He testified that two gunmen were hiding in the bushes while he was in a car. Another man was down the street. 

"My mission was to follow through with what Mr. Dorsey asked, and that was to kill Derwin Brown," Cuffy said, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Dorsey was convicted of arranging Brown's murder and sentenced to life in prison in 2002.

Dorsey maintained his innocence, saying, "I do not have the blood of Derwin Brown on my hands," according to CNN.

In 2005, two men involved in the hit, Melvin Walker and David Ramsey, were found guilty of conspiracyProsecutors believe that Dorsey had promised the men, including one who was a deputy, promotions and jobs if they helped in the crime.

Two years later, Dorsey ultimately did confess to the crime, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution shared. He remains incarcerated in Georgia State Prison.

To learn more about the case, watch "Deadly Power" on Oxygen.

[Photo: Oxygen] 

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