Stephen Michael Phillips

Stephen Michael Phillips was booked in the St. Clair County Jail in Ashville

A first court date has been set for early July in the case of former police officer Barry Wathen, who is charged with two counts of distribution of a controlled substance and one count of possession of a controlled substance.

According to district attorney Lyle Harmon, Wathen’s court date is set for July 8 at 9 a.m at the St. Clair County Courthouse in Ashville. Wathen, who has yet to retain a lawyer, will have the option to waive his case to be heard before a grand jury or could move to ask for a preliminary hearing at a later date.

Wathen was previously terminated by the Pell City Police Department on June 1 after PCPD conducted their own investigation into the matter. While he was terminated in Pell City, it was in Odenville where he had two outstanding warrants for distribution and it was later that the possession charge was added. This follows an investigation by the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Drug Enforcement Unit.

“All of us now must move forward to bring credit to police officers,” Irwin said following Wathen’s termination. “We are going to work to make this the safest place to be. We want to bring everyone to justice.”

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