Achille mayor speaks out after arrest
On Monday morning the Achille mayor was arrested after a Calera homeowner chased him and another man out of his home with a shotgun, before police caught and arrested them with meth on them.
Mayor David Northcutt said he and his friend were backroading in a Jeep along the river bottom. He said wild hogs ran in front of their vehicle that they hit and killed. That's when it all started.
"We had no intention of burglarizing, no intention of stealing," said Northcutt.
Northcutt said he and Joshua Doughty were driving to his cousin's house.
"I got the Jeep stuck in mud, and we were going to walk down the road either to his home, or to find assistance to help us get the jeep out of the mud," Northcutt said.
He said they knocked on the door of a house that he thought was his cousin's or one of that cousin's neighbors.
"Someone did aid us and we went through the front door and we were given blankets, and we were planning on sleeping until daylight," he said.
Northcutt said they woke up about an hour and a half later.
"I found myself at the end of a shot gun and being chased off that property," he said.
That led to Northcutt and Doughty walking away before Calera Police caught and arrested them for burglary and meth possession.
He said until recently, he'd been clean from drugs for 13 years.
"Those who know me well know that I've been struggling with addiction for the last seven months. I've actually been on medical leave from work because of it," Northcutt said.
A police report states Doughty admitted to officers both had been using meth.
He said whether or not he stays mayor will depend on the charges.
"Rehab is something that is a must," Northcutt said. "I beat this before and I'll beat it again."
Northcutt says that could take months, which would mean losing his position as mayor.
He'll go to trial in December and if found guilty faces up to 20 years in prison.
"That right now is a much more immediate concern than do I get to remain as mayor," Northcutt said.
He said he has this message for Achille residents.
"I am sincerely regretful that my actions and decisions have led me to this point," he said.
Northcutt offered these words to the Calera family whose home he was chased out of.
"I'm sure he was startled, I did not mean to startle or frighten. And I just convey my sincerest of apologies to that family," Northcutt said.
And as far as his addiction, Northcutt said he is holding onto hope.
"Know that there are those out there who do care. And you're not alone," he said.
When we reported on Northcutt's arrest Tuesday night, we aired an interview from a local resident who called the mayor a derogatory name.
That interview should never have made air.
We apologized for this mistake to you in Wednesday night's 10:00 newscast, and we apologized Thursday to Northcutt personally Thursday. He accepted our apology.