Former Columbia Police Chief sentenced to 5 months in prison

A former Columbia Police Chief has been sentenced to 5 months in prison.

Jason Cross, age 45, was sentenced in federal court late last week after entering an Alford plea after being charged with stealing more than $25,000 from the city of Columbia during his last year as chief.

Cross was reportedly offered a plea agreement that would include probation if he pleaded guilty and paid full restitution, but he instead entered an Alford plea, which is treated the same as a guilty plea but the defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges that a jury trial could lead to a conviction.

Cross has 14 days to appeal the sentence if he chooses.

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Zac Oakes is the News and Sports Director for LakerCountry.com and Laker Country WJRS 104.9 FM.