COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A Columbus father and his son are facing charges after investigators say they caught them bribing witnesses in a criminal case.
Melvin Crouch Sr. and his son, 18-year-old Melvin Crouch Jr., are accused of exchanging crack cocaine and cash for false statements.
Police say it all stems back to the case of Marcus Lewis, Crouch's stepson and the younger Crouch's stepbrother.
Lewis is accused of nearly hitting several Columbus Police officers with a car when they tried to pull him over last May. He's been indicted on charges of Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer, Fleeing and Attempting to Elude Police and Driving without a Valid License. Lewis is scheduled to go to trial March 21st and is represented by Michael Garner, a local defense attorney.
With the help of an informant, Columbus investigators say did an undercover operation on February 15th at the Krystal's restaurant on Veterans Parkway and at 820 Broadway, which is Michael Garner's office. They tell WTVM the Crouches met with a witness in Lewis' case at the Krystal's and arranged to meet at the Garner's office to sign a false affidavit saying Marcus Lewis was not the driver of the car that almost struck the officers.
The Crouches are accused of paying one witness $500 cash to sign a faulty statement and police say they gave another witness crack cocaine in exchange for lying in the court document.
Police say Michael Garner is not charged in the case and there's no proof that the lawyer's office knew they were taking false affidavits which are given to the District Attorney's Office.
The Crouches are each charged with two counts of Influencing a Witness and the Sale of Crack Cocaine.