On May 30, 2012 Brittney Wood disappeared. Since then, a number of her relatives and some family friends have been arrested on child sex related charges. The investigations into that alleged sex ring span both Mobile and Baldwin counties and Wednesday, July 6 three of the accused were in a Baldwin county courtroom.
Donald Holland Junior, Randall “Scott” Wood and William Brownlee all faced a judge in Bay Minette and there were some surprises in the courtroom.
Suspect changed his mind prior to plea deal
William Brownlee, who’s charged with second degree sodomy and sex abuse, was supposed to plead guilty in court Wednesday, August 6 but he changed his mind. Brownlee, who was offered a combined deal from Mobile and Baldwin Counties of 25 years, but decided he’d rather take his chances with a jury.
“What he is looking at is on his charges here is a range of 2-20 and in Mobile most of his charges are class “A” felonies with a child less than 12. He is looking at a minimum mandatory of 20-years to serve for each of those,” Baldwin County Assistant District Attorney Teresa Heinz explained.
Brownlee reportedly told his lawyer he didn’t want to go to jail for something he didn’t do.
Brittney’s uncle pleaded guilty
But the results were different for Randall Scoot Wood, Brittney’s Uncle. He’s charged with sex abuse, incest and sodomy.
“He pleaded guilty to sodomy second and he is also going to be pleading guilty to a charge in Mobile County,” Heinz said.
Heinz said Wood could face anywhere from two to twenty years in prison for the sodomy charge. Because he reached a plea deal, Heinz said the state will not pursue the charges of incest and sex abuse.
“That’s done frequently when somebody agrees to take responsibility for one charge; we agree to dismiss the other charges,” Heinz said.
Suspect granted youthful offender
Donald Holland Junior, Brittney Wood’s cousin, is charged with incest, rape and sex abuse. He was granted youthful offender status which means his records are sealed.
Holland didn’t show much emotion but the woman sitting next to him was crying.
Prosecutors say a victim in the child sex ring was also in the courtroom.
“This is an extremely over whelming process, something they’ve been waiting for so long, results, and it’s finally starting to hit all at once and that takes a toll on people. It takes a toll on adults and it takes a toll on a child,” Heinz said.
Brownlee, Wood and Holland are just three of eleven people charged in the case and all of them have ties to Brittney Wood.
The lists of people arrested include Brittney’s mother, Chessie Wood, two aunts, Wendy Holland and Mendy Kent and family friends: Jennifer Moore, Nelton Morgan, and James Cumba.
Brittney’s brother, Derek wood, was also charged. He received youthful offender status in his case.
Last week, Britney’s Uncle Dustin Kent pleaded guilty to second degree rape and sodomy.