Former Commonwealth's Attorney Gets 38 Months In Jail

Paul Thomson, the former Commonwealth's attorney for Winchester, will be spending 38 months behind bars after he pleaded guilty on Monday morning to five charges he was facing.

The charges included evidence and witness tampering, and cocaine possession.

On top of his prison term, he'll have to pay a fine to the government and $5,000 restitution to a client he failed to properly represent.

Both sides of the case said Thomson was dealing with substance abuse, and now that he has accepted his wrong-doings, he can get help.

"The cover-up in some ways is worse than the crime," said Tim Heaphy, the lawyer who represented the United States Attorney's Office. "In order to hide the fact that he was a drug user, Mr. Thomson destroyed documents or encouraged other people to do so, and he encouraged witnesses to lie. That's a serious offense."

"We're glad this part is over with, and now we're going to go on with rebuilding his own health and his family," explained John Flannery, who represented Thomson.

Thomson's prison term of 38 months is set, but he'll return for a sentencing hearing on September 26 to find out how big of a fine he owes.

According to court documents, the fine can be anywhere between $7,500 and $75,000.


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