05/16/2006

Key witness in Ga. sheriff's death is shot in Virgin Islands

The Associated Press

ATLANTA- A former deputy who was the key witness in trials involving the 2000 assassination of DeKalb County Sheriff-elect Derwin Brown was shot and wounded in the Virgin Islands, authorities said Monday.

Patrick Cuffy was working at a security job at a night club on the island of St. Croix early Sunday when he asked a patron to leave. While outside, he heard a popping sound and realized he had been shot, said Shawna Richards, a spokeswoman for the Virgin Islands Police Department.

"It was a single gunshot wound to the right side of the neck," Richards told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She said Cuffy was hospitalized in stable condition.

Cuffy was given immunity for his testimony in the shooting of Brown in his driveway on Dec. 15, 2000, three days before he was to be sworn in as sheriff.

His testimony helped convict former Sheriff Sidney Dorsey, who is serving life in prison. Cuffy testified that he and two other men killed Brown on Dorsey's orders.

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