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Former Alabama AG Jimmy Evans, best known for Gov. Hunt case, dies
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Former Alabama AG Jimmy Evans, best known for Gov. Hunt case, dies

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Obit-Jimmy Evans

In this Dec. 12, 1984, file photo, Montgomery County District Attorney Jimmy Evans, center, joined by from left, Chief Deputy Calvin Hughes, Willard Pilgreen, ABI Capt. Pete Taylor and Dept. of Public Safety Col Byron Prescott, announces the indictments of two Klansmen in connection with the burning of the Southern Poverty Law Center, during a news conference in Montgomery, that also exhibited a table full of explosive devices he says were going to be used by the group of Klansmen against blacks at a future civil rights march. Evans, a former Alabama Attorney General who successfully prosecuted the state’s governor in an ethics case in the 1990s, died Monday, Feb. 15, 2021. He was 81.

MONTGOMERY — Former Alabama Attorney General Jimmy Evans, who successfully prosecuted the state’s governor in an ethics case in the 1990s, died Monday. He was 81.

His death was confirmed by Brian T. Gallion, the operator of Southern Memorial Funeral Home which is handling the funeral arrangements for the family. Services will be held Monday.

Evans was Alabama’s attorney general from 1991 to 1995. He is best known for the 1993 prosecution and conviction of then-Gov. Guy Hunt on charges of stealing $ 200,000 from an inaugural fund. Evans also pushed for passage of legislation to give crime victims a greater voice in the criminal justice system and was a mentor to many young attorneys, said friends and former colleagues.

“He was one of the fairest people I have ever known,” former Montgomery County District attorney Ellen Brooks recalled.

Brooks, who worked with Evans many years, said he “could be tough as nails when the situation required” such as prosecuting a horrific murder case. But he could also be gracious and kind in dealing with victims or giving a second chance to a first-time non-violent offender, she recalled.

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“People would come into the courtroom to listen and watch him. He was that good,” Brooks said of Evans’s closing arguments.

He previously served as the district attorney of Montgomery.

“He had a remarkable impact on many lawyers’ careers including mine,” said attorney Steve Feaga, who led the Hunt prosecution for Evans.

Evans’s name would become forever linked with the Hunt prosecution that led to the ouster of the state’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction. Hunt was automatically removed from office after being convicted of the felony.

Hunt and others had complained that Evans, a Democrat, brought the case against him for political reasons - an allegation Evans denied.

“That bothered Jimmy because it wasn’t politically motivated,” Feaga said, adding that Evans knew the case would likely mean the end of his career in public office.

Evans was defeated by Republican Jeff Sessions in the 1994 race for attorney general. Session went on to become U.S. senator and U.S. attorney general. Hunt later secured a pardon and made an unsuccessful bid to return to politics.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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