Walthall County Circuit Clerk sentenced to 3 years probation

By Karrie Leggett

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM)- Former Walthall County Circuit Clerk Pat Broussard was in court in Tylertown today, but under different circumstances.

Broussard was placed on probation after pleading guilty to being an accessory after the fact for helping her 22-year-old son Dustin, after he escaped police custody in April.

Dustin had been arrested after his third DUI charged plus an arson charge, but was allowed out of jail to attend his grandmother's funeral. That's when he and his wife escaped to Mexico.

Pat Broussard admitted her son contacted her after the escape but didn't tell authorities. She later wired three thousand dollars to Mexico, saying her son told her he was starving.

When special Judge Kosta Vlahos asked Broussard why she pleaded guilty she said "Because I am."

Broussard lawyer, Bill Goodwin,  says she wanted to get the matter behind her.

"She wanted to get the matter resolved and she entered the plea today, and the judge sentenced her to non adjudicated probation. She is not a convicted felon. I think that it turned out for the best," said Goodwin.

District Attorney, Dee Bates, says if Broussard does not violate her probation then the charge will be cleared from her record.

" She has to go through a probation period of three years. If she commits a violation of probation a guilty plea can be accepted and she will be a convicted felon. If she completes the three year period and has no violations then what happens when she is released, the charge can be expunged from her record," said Bates.

The third term circuit clerk resigned from her position last week. In addition to probation, Broussard will pay a one thousand dollar fine, and sixteen hundred dollars in restitution to cover the expense of U.S. Marshals returning her son to Mississippi.

Ironically, Dustin Broussard escaped a second time during the extradition but was recaptured a week later. He is currently in the Marion-Walthall Regional Jail.