During the May election of 1954, Garrett backed Lee Porter for
attorney general with the intention of using Porter to retain
political power. Albert Patterson, running on the platform "a
man against crime," beat Porter in the primary election.
Garrett and Arch Ferrell changed the numbers on a recapitulation
sheet to add votes for Porter. Garrett convinced county democratic
party chairman Lamar Reid that Patterson was the gamblers' candidate.
Reid provided access to the sheets, with Garrett reassuring him
later that "this vote thing comes up all the time."
When a Birmingham reporter found a discrepancy in the vote totals,
Garrett was called before the Jefferson County grand jury to testify
on June 18. Reid had confessed, naming Garrett and Ferrell in
his testimony. After an all day session in front of the grand
jury, Garrett returned to the Redmont Hotel.
At the Redmont Hotel in Birmingham Garrett had dinner with with
other Democratic Party workers and their wives. Several calls
were placed between Ferrell's Phenix City office and Garrett's
hotel room during that time. When Patterson was murdered that
same evening, Ferrell used the phone calls to Garrett as an alibi.
Si Garrett was called a second time to testify before the grand
jury. This time he was questioned vote fraud and Patterson's murder.
After ten and a half hours of testifying, Garrett left Alabama
and checked into a Texas mental hospital.
In August, Garrett suffered a broken neck in an auto accident.
He survived, but returned to the mental hospital. Garret was never
brought to trial for either the vote fraud or the murder of Albert