Former Chesterfield County Sam Parker was found guilty on Thursday after prosecutors displayed overwhelming evidence
The nearly two-week long trial against former Chesterfield County Sheriff Sam Parker wrapped on Thursday with Parker being found guilty on all eight counts against him.
Parker hung his head as the word "guilty" was repeated for each of the counts, then broke his silence to ask the judge for leniency.
"My child, my 11-year-old child and my wife and my family, I do again apologize to them and ask mercy for my baby and my grandchildren," said an emotional Parker.
However, Judge Lee S. Alford did not go easy on the former sheriff saying he is a strong proponent of the justice system and the public's faith in that system.
"That is the biggest mistake I think you've made because you were made aware that you were not in compliance with a lot of the state laws and regulations," said Judge Alford. "You chose to ignore them and didn't make the changes when you had an opportunity to do them."
Judge Alford then sentenced Parker to a mandatory two-year sentence followed by three years of probation.
Many of the laws Parker broke centered around inmates Mike Lee and William Skipper, who were allowed to live away from the jail in a dorm-like setting at the armory without supervision. Prosecutors say during this time, Lee and Skipper had access to weapons, alcohol, women and the internet.
Lee was even able to build a Facebook and become online friends with Parker's wife and was photographed at Parker's home grilling hamburgers in plain clothes.
Judge Alford says after the evidence, he was not surprised by the verdict.
"You've done all these things that I think most sheriffs wouldn't even think about doing as far as misconduct in office," said Alford while sentencing Parker. "I think most sheriffs would shudder to even think about it."
Prosecutors also held up large guns to the jury, describing that the county and federal weapons were issued by Parker to his close friends who lacked any sort of law enforcement training.
South Carolina Assistant Deputy Attorney General Heather Weiss says her team is proud of the work of everyone involved and believes the sentence is fair.
"You have to follow the law, you're expected, you're held to a higher standard when you're elected to an elected office," said Weiss. "The people that you serve expect you to do your diligence, to read your contracts, to read the law to know the law and to be held to that standard."
Parker briefly said goodbye to his wife, one of his daughters and friends before he was escorted out to begin serving his sentence.
Weiss says she's unsure of where Parker will serve his two years, and as of Friday afternoon he was not yet listed in the Department of Corrections database.