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Former assistant DA to be sentenced for payoff plea

JACKSON (AP) — A former Mississippi prosecutor is heading to federal court for sentencing after he pleaded guilty to taking cash in exchange for helping reduce a defendant’s bond.

The Clarion-Ledger reports former Hinds County Assistant District Attorney Ivon Johnson faces up to five years in federal prison at a sentencing hearing Thursday.

Johnson pleaded guilty last year to a conspiracy charge and testified against District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith, who was recently acquitted of hindering the prosecution of defendants.

Court records say Johnson in October 2014 recommended a steep reduction in bond for a criminal defendant in exchange for $300. Prosecutors say Johnson accepted at least $15,000 to help inmates between 2013 and last year.