Thursday, June 2, 2016

Only Six Dillard/Staggs Victims

The TimesDaily recently reported that a total of seven women were allegedly victimized by Florence attorney Edward Ray (Chip) Dillard and Timothy W. Staggs; however, the indictment itself indicates only six victims. One of the women who will testify against the pair was also threatened with “murder or assault” if she followed through with testifying according to the indictment; perhaps this is where the misunderstanding arose.

Several readers have asked us where the 83 year-old Staggs comes in. From what we know, many of these women were frequent visitors to his house on the corner of Patton Street and Huntsville Road. The indictment lists this as Staggs’ physical address, but the Florence octogenarian owns four or five houses in Florence and supposedly lives in a dwelling on Hough Road…or he did until he was arrested and placed under a 300,000.00 cash bond.

We’re also going to theorize that Dillard, whose law practice since he returned to the Shoals had been financially sketchy at best due to his frequent trips to rehab, didn’t have the resources to bail the victims out of jail. We infer he located the women, at least some of whom were his court appointed clients, and Staggs provided the bail money. The women were then indebted to Dillard and Staggs.

Brett Mitchell? He supposedly wiped the data from Dillard’s cell phone or at least attempted to. We hear the procedure was hardly a success. We also infer Dillard was probably more interested in removing numbers that connected him to jail contraband than to the women he brought into whatever sick scheme he and Staggs were running.

Will there be more? Definitely.

From L. Stone:

It is a common practice for police departments to hire someone with no experience and send them to the police academy. (Some larger towns, like Huntsville, have their own academy.) In exchange for getting paid during this training period and having expenses covered it's common for the new officer to sign an agreement to stay at the depart for a specified period (say two or three years); if the new officer leaves before this period he has to pay back a specified amount to the department. A rookie may not make a lot, but he gets paid training and after his obligation is over he may be able to move to a better-paying department.

While the Midnight Rider didn't specifically mention Russellville yesterday, that town also has an extremely high officer turnover. Most who have contacted us have been extremely unhappy with leadership in that department.


  1. Where does the human trafficking charge come in to play on the indictment?

    1. Both Dillard and Staggs are indicted on six charges of human trafficking in second degree. As we understand it, Staggs bailed each of these six women out of jail after Dillard recruited them. Staggs allowed his house on Patton Street to be used as a meeting place for these girls and his friends. Supposedly, one of the girls acted as a madam and transported, by Staggs’ direction, two of the younger girls to TN for sex; hence, the FBI involvement.