Former Timmonsville town clerk says prosecutors indicted her in retaliation

Wilhelmena Washington is asking a court to dismiss charges of Forgery and Misconduct against her.

Her attorney, Patrick McLaughlin, filed a motion with the court saying charges should be dismissed on the grounds of vindictive prosecution, insufficiency and deficiency of indictment.

In November 2011, agents with the State Law Enforcement Division charged Washington with two counts of Forgery and two counts of Misconduct in Office.

At the time, she was the clerk for the Town of Timmonsville.

Police say Washington forged Judge Lloyd Wilcox's signature to commitment and release paperwork for an inmate at the Florence County Detention Center, Willie Lee Robinson, Jr.

Her trial in November ended in a mistrial.

In March, the State indicted Washington for an additional count of Forgery and an additional count of Misconduct in Office.

According to court documents, McLaughlin says the motive behind the State's prosecution of Washington is retaliation.

Documents say she's being prosecuted because she wasn't able to help the State with its ongoing investigation in to the "many matters in Timmonsville."

It says Washington is being prosecuted because she lacks knowledge of other criminal activity.

McLaughlin says the State's prosecution of his client is an abuse of the criminal justice system and an abuse of the power of the State to attempt to extort cooperation and prosecute Washington in this manner.

He adds that it also violates Washington's fundamental and constitutional rights.

The South Carolina Attorney General's Office is prosecuting the case and plans to retry Washington on July 22.