Calhoun County D.A. resigns, Deputy D.A. takes over

By Dixon Hayes

CALHOUN COUNTY, AL (WBRC) – There is a sudden change in the Calhoun-Cleburne County District Attorney's office.
Joe Hubbard, the D.A. since 1992, abruptly resigned Monday after serving only two months of a new term.  Hubbard was re-elected without opposition in November.
Hubbard submitted his letter of resignation Monday, and did not give a reason.  However, he's given interviews about his battles with esophageal cancer and a brain tumor, and even wrote a mystery novel while fighting those health issues and working as a prosecutor.
Longtime Chief Deputy D.A. Brian McVeigh was sworn in Wednesday after being appointed by Governor Bentley to serve out Hubbard's term.  McVeigh told Fox6 News he took his new assignment "with mixed emotions" and called Hubbard a "great boss."
Hubbard worked as a prosecutor in the D.A.'s office since 1978, and became D.A. in 1992 replacing Bob Field.  Among Hubbard's most notable cases: the capital murder case and trial of Donald Wheat, guilty of murdering four young men inside a Blockbuster Video store in Anniston in May 2002.  Wheat pleaded guilty but the law called for a trial to be held anyway.  Instead of simply putting on a brief trial, however, Hubbard presented nearly all of the witnesses to testify in all parts of the case, and presented all of the evidence he had, indicating Wheat's involvement in a stabbing at a Heflin video store, a murder at a Georgia grocery store and another robbery in Opelika.  Hubbard later said he did that so all of the victims could have their day in court and achieve closure.  Wheat later died in prison.

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