A sex offender appeared in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Tuesday, June 23 .
Judge David Patterson presided.
58 year old Charles Henry Ward pled guilty by information to violating terms of the sex offender registry. He received a two year sentence all suspended to supervised probation except for 231 days of time served.
Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, October 27, 2014 Ward was found to be living in his vehicle in the parking lot of a church on Old Snow Hill Road, within one thousand feet of a child's athletic recreation center in violation of the sex offender registry law. According to Sheriff Ray, Ward committed the offense of second degree sexual assault in Texas on December 1, 1994 which resulted in him having to be included on the sex offender registry. Ward registered in DeKalb County on March 28, 2014.
Meanwhile, 32 year old Johnny Lynn Devault pled guilty to Kidnapping and two separate cases of aggravated assault. He received a four year sentence as a range one offender to be served on probation in each of the aggravated assault cases. The two terms are to run concurrently but consecutively with a four year TDOC sentence he got in the kidnapping case in which he is to serve one year and then be on probation. The combined total sentence is eight years. Devault was given 222 days of jail credit
Devault and three others were named in Grand Jury sealed indictments in December, 2013 for allegedly participating in the kidnapping and rape of a woman they thought stole money and Suboxone strips from them in October, 2013. The case was investigated by the Smithville Police Department.
In one of the aggravated assault cases, Sheriff Ray reports that on Friday, July 4, 2014 an officer was called to Devault's residence in response to a physical altercation in progress. Upon arrival, the deputy spoke with a woman who said she had been assaulted by her boyfriend, Devault. He allegedly strangled the woman, grabbing her by the throat and the back of the neck, and squeezing her face. The assault resulted in the woman having physical marks on parts of her body. After the assault, Devault left the scene prior to the officer's arrival.
53 year old Deborah Lynn Thistlethwaite, originally charged with driving under the influence and cited for possession of a schedule VI drug (marijuana) and possession of drug paraphernalia (pipe), pled guilty by information to public intoxication and received a thirty day sentence all suspended except for seventy two hours to serve. She will then be on good behavior probation. Smithville Police said that on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 an officer responded to a residence on West Main Street in reference to a possible DUI. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with Thistlethwaite who was in a vehicle. He detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from the automobile. As Thistlethwaite exited the vehicle, the officer smelled alcohol on her person. Her speech was slurred and she was unsteady on her feet. Thistlewaite submitted to and performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. While being placed under arrest, the officer found in Thistlewaite's right front pocket a small plastic bag containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana and a small metal pipe commonly used to smoke marijuana.