Local News Articles

Six More Persons Picked Up on Grand Jury Sealed Indictments

April 7, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has arrested six more people on sealed indictments returned by the Grand Jury last week.

Most are charged as a result of an undercover drug investigation by the Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says the latest to be picked up include:

34 year old Lisa Ann Dillon of Page Drive, Smithville- Theft over $10,000, and Destruction of valuable papers with the intent to defraud. Her total bond is $2,500.

Dillon was an employee at Insta Cash in Smithville. Sheriff Ray says Dillon was indicted because she was taking previous accounts and making ficticious loans in the account holder's name and keeping the money for herself. After the loans went through, Dillon would then shred all the paper work. After an audit, it was found that over a 4 month period of time, Dillon took in excess of $15,000.

45 year old Linda West Barrett of Webb Lane, Smithville- Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II Drug (2 counts) (Dilaudid). Her bond is $25,000

21 year old Kara Funk of Kings Court Circle, Smithville- Sale and Delivery of a Schedule VI Drug (Marijuana). Her bond is $10,000

22 year old Corey Winchester of Bright Hill Road, Smithville- Sale and Delivery of a Schedule IV Drug (Xanax) and Sale and Delivery of a Schedule II Drug (Oxycontin).Total Bond $20,000

27 year old Amanda Certain Tarpley of Kings Court, Smithville- Sale and Delivery of a Schedule IV Drug (Xanax). Total Bond $10,000

41 year old Ed Tarpley Jr. of Kings Court, Smithville- Sale and Delivery of a Schedule IV Drug (Xanax). Total Bond $10,000.

All will appear in Criminal Court for arraignment Monday, April 14th at 9:00 a.m.

Meanwhile, in other cases, 27 year old Timothy Shane Likens of Dearman Street, Smithville was charged on April 1st with Violation of the Sex Offender Law.

Sheriff Ray says Likens was a registered sex offender here in DeKalb County and was listed on the registry at the Dearman Street address. Deputies have checked for Likens at this address several times and Likens was never to be found. After an investigation into Likens' whereabouts, he was found to be living in Westmoreland. A warrant was issued for Likens for violation of the sex offender law. His bond is $10,000 and his court date is April 10th.

On April 3rd, Deputies received a call to respond to Allen Bend Road, Smithville to a possible burglary in progress at an abandoned house.

Sheriff Ray says upon arrival, deputies found the front door of the residence open and broken glass from the front door on the ground. After a search of the residence, officers found 21 year old Phillip Martin of Old Bildad Road, Smithville and 23 year old Crystal Dawn Butler of Allen Bend Road, Smithville, hiding behind an indoor air unit in the attic area of the home. Deputies also smelled marijuana in the room and Butler had in her possession a bong and a small amount of marijuana. Martin was placed under arrest and charged with burglary. Bond for Martin is $5,000 and his court date is April 17th. Butler was charged with burglary, simple possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond is $7,500.00 and her court date is April 17th.

Legislation protects public from sexual predators on work release

April 5, 2008

The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved legislation that makes persons convicted of sexual offenses ineligible for work release. The bill applies to sex offenders housed in local jails, private prisons or state correctional facilities.

"These offenders should not be out on work release," said Judiciary Chairman Mae Beavers ."It is too big a risk that could endanger our citizens."

Studies show that sex offenders are rarely, if ever, rehabilitated. This is one of the reasons Tennessee and other states have set up a sex offender registry.

"There are too many cases of sex offenders who repeat their crime," Beavers added. "We must make public safety our first concern."

Meanwhile, legislation that would prohibit the diversion of gas tax money from being diverted from the state's road fund to the general fund to pay for other state government expenses was approved this week in the Senate Transportation Committee. The bill would eliminate the authority of state government to divert approximately $13.7 million in the highway user fees this year.

"Tennessee has a user ‘pay as you go' road program," said Senator Mae Beavers "We have not had to rely on bonds or indebtedness like so many other states to fund our highway program. If funds continue to be diverted, it will upset this balance and lead to many problems. It also leads to even more traffic congestion and an inadequate road system, which Tennessee had before we adopted this system."

The Department of Transportation only spends the funds that are available through its dedicated revenues, the highway user taxes and fees, and federal funding. Called "dedicated funding" since users pay for the roads through gas taxes and fees, a portion of the gasoline tax also goes to cities and counties in Tennessee to fund local roads.

"We must also compete in a very competitive economic climate to bring jobs to our communities," Beavers added. "We need the infrastructure to bring new and better paying jobs into Tennessee. Erosion of our road money is a big problem in this effort."

The Highway Fund would receive approximately $11.4 million of the shifted funds under the bill, SB 2953. Local governments would receive the remaining $2.3 million.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to strengthen penalties against the worst drunk drivers by lowering the level Tennessee considers "extreme drunk driving" from .20 to .15. The bill would add up to seven more days of jail time for offenders who are convicted of an extreme drunk driving charge.

"This bill is one of a package of proposals that we are pushing this year," said Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet), sponsor of the bill. "Fifty-two percent of drivers that were involved in alcohol-related fatalities had BAC levels at or above .16. Drivers at this level are 382 times more likely to be involved in a crash. We need to focus our resources on getting these offenders off our roads."

Tennessee is one of few states in the nation that sets the standard at .20, a level when many drunk drivers lose consciousness. There were 1,287 fatalities on Tennessee roads with 509 due to alcohol-related crashes, a 7.6 percent increase from the previous year. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of deaths among persons between the ages of 3 and 33, with 50% of them being alcohol-related crashes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has conducted studies showing extreme drunk driving laws work. NHTSA includes the .15 standard for extreme drunk driving in its model legislation for a comprehensive approach to lowering the incidence of DUI in states. Currently, Tennessee has only five of the eleven elements proposed by NHTSA in their model bill.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) will have a special meeting on Wednesday to consider a resolution calling for removal of William E. Gibson from the office of District Attorney General of the Thirteenth Judicial District by the state of Tennessee. Tennessee's Constitution provides that attorneys for the state may be removed from office by a concurrent two-thirds vote of both Houses of the General Assembly, each House voting separately. The resolution calling for removal, if approved, could be on the floor as early as next Thursday. The thirteenth district includes Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Overton, Pickett, Putnam and White Counties

Senator Jim Tracy won Senate approval of legislation he sponsored that would end the rights of a member of the General Assembly to continue receiving healthcare benefits if they are convicted of a felony for misuse of their office. The bill requires the state to end the benefits upon conviction or upon a plea of guilty to such charges if the charges are in relation to the member's official capacity as a legislator.

Senator Randy McNally guided legislation through the full Senate this week that adds abuse of inhalants to the state's DUI laws. The bill authorizes various forms of education and treatment; and requires investigation involving inhalant abuse. Inhalants produce an effect that may be similar to alcohol intoxication. Police are seeing a proliferation of this dangerous practice, including a case earlier this month where a driver who had been "huffing" a pressurized dust remover crashed into a Rutherford County special education school bus.

Grand Jury Indicts 40 People in Undercover Drug Investigation by Sheriff's Department

April 3, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Officers of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department spent several hours Thursday night arresting defendants named in sealed indictments by the Grand Jury this week.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says most of the defendants are charged with various drug offenses as a result of an eleven month undercover investigation by the Sheriff's Department. “There were a total of 141 sealed indictments that involved 40 drug defendants and 5 sealed indictments that involved 3 defendants for theft crimes. This undercover drug operation has been in effect for approximately 11 months. We started this drug investigation after the 2007 April Term of the Grand Jury last year. We've bought prescription drugs such as hydrocodone, dilaudid, xanax, oxycontin, valium, phenergan, and marijuana. Through this operation, we have made drug buys from these defendants and executed search warrants on the big dealers.We decided to take arrests warrants for General Sessions Court on the big dealers instead of waiting till this Grand Jury session. We felt like we needed to take the dealers off the streets as quickly as possible, instead of allowing them to run free and sell major quantities of drugs in our county. I made a promise to you, the citizens of DeKalb County, that I would target drug dealers who are putting drugs on out on our streets and my staff and I are working hard each day to fulfill that promise. I would encourage anyone who knows or even suspects that drugs are being sold on our streets, to call me at 597-4935 or call the drug tip line at 464-6400. All calls are kept confidential”

The DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department's Main Station on King Ridge Road served as the headquarters for the Thursday night roundup. After processing some paperwork on the defendants there, officers transported the prisoners to the jail.

The names of the defendants arrested so far and their charges are as follows:

40 year old Mark Robinson of Dry Creek Road, Smithville- sale and delivery of a schedule IV controlled substance (Xanax), and conspiracy to sell a schedule IV controlled substance (Xanax). Total bond- $20,000

37 year old Kyra Robinson of Braswell Lane, Smithville- conspiracy to sell a Schedule IV controlled substance (Xanax). Bond- $10,000

38 year old Tina Dorton of Luttrell Avenue, Smithville- sale and delivery of a schedule II drug within 1,000 feet of a school (Dilaudid); sale and delivery of a schedule IV drug within 1,000 feet of a school (Valium); and sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Dilaudid). Total Bond $25,000

27 year old Amanda Bain Hicks of The Loop, Smithville-sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Dilaudid).Bond $10,000

30 year old Jeremy Bandy of Walker Drive, Smithville- sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (2 counts) (Oxycontin).Bond $20,000

21 year old Chris Mulford of Kings Court Lane, Smithville- sale and delivery of a schedule VI controlled substance (Marijuana)
Bond $10,000.

32 year old Patricia Crook of Highland Street, Smithville- sale and delivery of a schedule III drug (2 counts) (Hydrocodone)
Bond $10,000

34 year old Scottie Sykes of Alexander Street, Smithville- sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (2 counts) (Dilaudid). Bond $10,000.

46 year old Jackie Mullican of South College Street, Smithville- sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Dilaudid)
Bond $10,000

32 year old Donna Thompson of Tommy Harrell Street, Smithville- sale and delivery of a schedule III drug (2 counts) (Hydrocodone). Bond $10,000.

43 year old Tonya Caldwell of Cill Street, Smithville- sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (2 counts) (Dilaudid).Bond $25,000.

40 year old William Ray Cantrell of Redmon Road, Smithville- sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Dilaudid), sale and delivery of a schedule III drug (Hydocodone), and sale and delivery of a schedule IV drug (Valium)Total Bond $35,000

24 year old Brandon Tallent of Big Rock Road, Smithville- sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Dilaudid). Bond $10,000

26 year old Kenny Bain Jr. of Old West Point Road, Smithville- sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Dilaudid). Bond $10,000

33 year old Joseph Barnes of Possum Hollow Lane, Smithville- sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Oxycontin). Bond $10,000.

27 year old Brian Pack of West Main Street, Smithville- sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Oxycontin). Bond $10,000

52 year old Mark West of Seven Springs Road- sale and delivery of a schedule IV drug (Xanax) and attempt to sell and deliver a schedule II drug (Dilaudid). Total Bond $10,000.

49 year old Gwynn Prater of Jerry Walker Road, Smithville- sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (4 counts) (Dilaudid) and sale and delivery of a schedule III drug (Hydocodone). Total Bond $25,000

33 year old Tabatha Murphy of Marshall Lane, Smithville- sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (4 counts) (Dilaudid) and sale and delivery of a schedule III drug (Hydocodone).Total Bond $25,000.

52 year old Jeana Brown of Seven Springs Road- sale and delivery of a schedule III drug (Hydrocodone) and sale and delivery of a schedule IV drug (2 counts) (Valium).Total Bond $10,000.

47 year old Terry Price of Seven Springs Road- sale and delivery of a schedule III drug (Hydrocodone) and sale and delivery of a schedule IV drug (Valium). Total Bond $10,000.

24 year old Brandon Caldwell of Holmes Creek Road, Smithville- sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (2 counts) (Dilaudid) and attempt to sell and deliver a schedule II drug (Dilaudid).Total Bond $25,000.

25 year old Paul Eric Ervin of Big Hurricane Road- sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Oxycontin) Total Bond $10,000.

25 year old Sandy “Rusty” Young of Young Ridge Road, Sparta- attempt to sell and deliver a schedule II drug (Dilaudid). Total Bond $10,000

31 year old Carla Chapman of West 7th Street, Cookeville- attempt to sell and deliver a schedule II drug (Dilaudid). Total Bond $10,000.

20 year old Steven Cantrell of West Main Street, Smithville- sale and delivery of a schedule VI drug (Marijuana). Total Bond $10,000.

57 year old Larry Keaton of South Tittsworth Road, Smithville- sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (2 counts) (Dilaudid). Total Bond $25,000.

41 year old Gary Hale of South Tittsworth Road- sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Dilaudid)
Total Bond $25,000

41 year old Debbie Cantrell of South Tittsworth Road- sale and delivery of a schedule II drug (Dilaudid). Total Bond $25,000

32 year old Waylon Farless of Hales Lane, Dowelltown- burglary and theft over $1,000. Bond- $10,000

Sheriff Ray says Farless was indicted for allegedly breaking into an outbuilding on Smith Fork Road in Dowelltown in February of this year. Farless allegedly took assorted shop tools from the outbuilding valued at over $1,000

More arrests are forthcoming.

All those indicted will appear for arraignment in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, April 14th at 9:00 a.m.

*** In the larger picture above, officers Jody Johnson and Roger Whitehead are obtaining information from defendants Chris Mulford (wearing sleeveless tee shirt) and Paul Eric Ervin (wearing cap). Ervin is charged with sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance. Mulford is charged with sale and delivery of a schedule VI controlled substance

***In the smaller picture below, Sheriff Patrick Ray is interviewing defendant Patricia Crook. She is charged with sale and delivery of a schedule III controlled substance ( 2 counts)

Four Candidates Running for Aldermen in Liberty Municipal Election

April 3, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Four candidates will be running for Alderman in the Liberty Municipal Election on August 7th.

Three aldermen will be elected.

Those positions are currently held by Jerry Johnson, Paul Neal, and Dwight Mathis. Johnson, Mathis, and Neal have qualified to seek another term. Todd Dodd will also be in the race.

The Dowelltown City Election will also be held on August 7th to elect a mayor and two aldermen.

The positions in Dowelltown are currently held by Mayor Gerald Bailiff and Aldermen Joe Bogle and Jr. Bratten.

Mayor Bailiff and Alderman Bogle have qualified to seek re-election. Elizabeth Redmon has also qualified to run for Alderman.

School Board Races to be Contested in August

April 3, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The fifth and sixth district school board races will be contested on August 7th

The positions are currently held by W.J. (Dub) Evins III in the fifth district and Linda Fuston in the sixth district.

Evins will be challenged for re-election by Larry Evans and Bruce Parsley will be running against Fuston

The terms are for four years.

The other five school board positions are up for election in 2010.

School board candidates do not run as Republicans or Democrats, but as Independents or non-partisan candidates.

Car Plunges Off Embankment Injuring Two Persons

April 2, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

Two people were injured Tuesday evening when their car plunged several feet off a steep embankment on the Cookeville Highway just a short distance south of Hurricane Bridge.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says 24 year old Roberto Perez of Cookeville was driving a 1994 Chevy Camaro south on Highway 56 when he failed to properly negotiate a curve, left the road to the right, struck a utility pole guide wire, went off a steep embankment, and struck a tree.

Perez and a passenger, 48 year old Maria Mendez of Cookeville, were later taken by DeKalb EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital where they were treated and released. Perez said he was taking Mendez to work when the crash occurred. She is employed at Tenneco.

A witness claims that the car was traveling south when it went over the yellow line of the highway and then overcorrected before losing control.

After the accident, another passerby, 31 year old Juan Gaspar of Cookeville, who was driving a blue Mustang enroute to his job at Tenneco, stopped at the scene. Perez got in the car with Gaspar and they drove away, leaving Mendez behind. The two men claim they did not know each other.

Central dispatch was notified and officers were alerted to be on the lookout for the blue Mustang. A county deputy stopped Gaspar's car at the Keystop Market on Cookeville Highway (formerly Robert's Grocery). Perez claims his intent was not to flee the scene, but to get to the hospital.

Gaspar and Perez were returned to the site of the crash

EMS treated Perez and Mendez at the scene and then transported them to the hospital.

Perez was charged with failure to maintain the lane of travel, driving without a license, and violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance)

Gaspar was charged with do drivers license and no insurance

Grand Jury Indicts Mabe in November Shooting

April 1, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

34 year Steve F. Mabe, Jr of 387 Lee Braswell Road has been indicted by the DeKalb County Grand Jury on an attempted first degree murder charge in the shooting of 32 year old Donnie Stanley, Jr.

The shooting occurred at Stanley's home on Toad Road on November 14th, 2007. Sheriff Patrick Ray says Stanley was shot once in the right side of his face and the bullet protruded into the neck. He has not disclosed a motive for the shooting.

The indictment states that "Mabe did unlawfully, intentionally, and with premeditation attempt to kill Stanley."

Mabe is among more than 80 defendants indicted by the grand jury who will appear for arraignment in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, April 14th at 9:00 a.m.

At least forty five people or more are named in sealed indictments. The names of those people cannot be disclosed until they are arrested and formally charged in those cases.

Defendants charged in other Grand Jury indictments this week are as follows:

Joshua Wayne Goff- driving while suspended (3rd offense)

Waylon R. Farless- driving on a revoked license (4th offense)

Waylon Ray Farless- speeding, reckless driving, evading arrest and reckless endangerment

Waylon Ray Farless- burglary and theft over $500

Billy Ray Smith- driving under the influence (3rd offense); driving while revoked; and violation of the implied consent law.

Warren Brandon Glasby- vehicular assault (2 counts), driving under the influence, violation of the implied consent law, possession of drug paraphernalia, violation of the seatbelt law, violation of the registration law, and violation of the financial responsibility law

Warren B. Glasby- burglary (2 counts) and theft (3 counts)

Billy R. Eaton and Teresa Tittle Hallback- sale and delivery of a schedule III and IV controlled substance

James H. Davis- introduction of contraband into the jail

Scotty Dale Farmer- possession of a schedule III controlled substance

Andy Joe Certain- simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance

Mark Anthony Graham- simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance

Ricky Harlin Neal- driving on a revoked license (2nd offense) and violation of the habitual motor vehicle offender order

Derek Charles Riggs- domestic assault

Danny Ray Murphy- reckless endangerment, driving under the influence (1st offense), child endangerment, violation of the implied consent law, and no drivers license

James Hesson- violation of the sex offender registry

Jeffery L. Murphy- driving under the influence and violation of the implied consent law

Amy D. Curtis- driving on a revoked license and possession of drug paraphernalia

Jane Elizabeth Hall- driving under the influence

Sharon R. Barnwell- driving under the influence (1st offense)

Rodney H. Gora II- vehicular assault, driving under the influence, violation of the seatbelt law, violation of the registration law, and violation of the financial responsibility law

Tina Denise Dorton- driving under the influence, driving on a revoked license (2nd offense), and violation of the implied consent law

Tina Dorton- sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance

Stephanie Stone- driving under the influence (2nd offense), violation of the implied consent law, speeding, and reckless driving

Bryan W. Cole- theft over $1,000

Scotty W. Neisz- theft over $1,000

Homer A. Petty- driving on a revoked license

Travis C. Tramel- failure to appear

William Ray Cantrell and Thomas Anthony Pavone- attempted second degree murder and aggravated assault over $500.

Kelly Ann Gibbs- theft under $500 and fraudulent use of a card under $500 (10 counts) and fraudulent use of a card over $1,000

Crystal Turner and Kelly A. Gibbs- aggravated burglary, theft over $500, forgery (4 counts), and passing a forged instrument (4 counts)

Elizabeth Ann Chalfant- theft under $500 and forgery (7 counts)

Ricky Allen Ashford II- theft over $500 and forgery (5 counts)

Tabatha Murphy and Gwynn Prater- possession of a schedule II and IV controlled substance for resale and delivery and possession of drug paraphernalia

David Ray Johnson- possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia

Joseph S. Barnes- attempting to possess a schedule II controlled substance for resale

Mark R. Robinson- possession of a schedule IV controlled substance for resale and delivery and possession of drug paraphernalia

Larry Keaton- sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance

Jeffery S. Ponder- possession of a schedule III and IV controlled substance for resale and possession of drug paraphernalia

Ernest P. Barnwell- aggravated burglary and theft over $1,000

Jorge Luis Ramirez- aggravated statutory rape

Julie Diane Ray- accessory after the fact

Gregg Hallback- possession of a schedule II controlled substance for resale and delivery and possession of drug paraphernalia

Laura Lee Nichols- assault

Shelly L. Burton- driving under the influence, driving on a revoked license (2nd offense), violation of the open container law, and violation of the registration law

Desiree Ferrell- driving under the influence

The Grand Jury returned a No True Bill in a theft case against Michael J. Foster

Latest Census Estimates Show DeKalb County with 5.8% Population Growth Since 2000

April 1, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The latest population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show that DeKalb County has grown at a rate of 5.8% since the year 2000.

Henry Bowman, an analyst of the Upper Cumberland Development District, told WJLE Monday that the 2007 estimates put the DeKalb County population at 18,436. "That compares to 17, 423 in the official 2000 Census which represents a growth of 1,013 people or 5.8%. That's a little below average for the Upper Cumberland Region, but the region's population is affected a lot by Cumberland and Putnam County, which have shown very rapid growth. I would say that DeKalb County's population estimate is a little understated. I suspect the Census will turn up more people than that. Of course, you have a situation in DeKalb County and Cumberland County too, where you have a lot of people who don't live there year round. They may be residents part of the year and not other parts of the year so that makes it a little bit trickier to estimate. Cumberland County is primarily being driven by the retirement communities as far as we can tell, such as Fairfield Glade, Tansi, and places like that. Those populations have been increasing very rapidly and so is the population of the county (Cumberland) as a whole. As a matter of fact, I would guess that it's probably a little more than what they've estimated here."

Bowman added that these are just estimates, not actual numbers, and are compiled by the Census Bureau based on various sources. "They look at several factors. First of all they control it from the top down. They start with the national population and then they estimate the state population, then they estimate the county population. They look at things like Medicare recipients to count the 65 plus population. Then they look at income tax returns to check the number of dependants claimed on those returns to estimate the zero to 64 population. They also look at things like births and deaths, which they have at the county level. Then they crunch all that through a model to come up with the estimates."

Putnam County has the largest population of any county in the Upper Cumberland Region. The 2007 estimate of Putnam's population is 69,916, up by 7,601, or 12.2 percent, from the total of 62,315 recorded in 2000.

Cumberland County's total estimated population in 2007 was 53,040, up by 13.3 percent from 46,802 in 2000.

2007 population estimates for the other Upper Cumberland counties are as follows: Warren, 39,690; White, 24,895; Macon, 21,561; Overton, 20,975; Smith, 18,845; Fentress, 17,420; Cannon, 13,432; Jackson, 10,791; Clay, 7,870; Van Buren, 5,437; Pickett, 4,762.

The region's total population as of 2007 is estimated at 327,070, up by 22,072, or 7.2 percent, since 2000.

The next official Census will be conducted in the year 2010.

Judge Hands Down Modified Sentence in Carter Case

March 31, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County Criminal Court Judge Leon Burns, Jr. handed down a modified sentence in the statutory rape case against Gary Carter Monday.

Carter will report to the county jail Tuesday to begin serving time on one count of statutory rape involving a female, who was 17 years old and only a few months shy of turning 18 when the incident allegedly occurred.

Under terms of the sentence, Carter will serve a straight 30 days beginning April 1st. He will then serve on weekends from May through December. Beginning January 1st, 2009, Carter will serve another 30 days straight. His case will then be placed back on the docket for further review.

Judge Burns, in September 2006, sentenced Carter to two years to be served in split confinement with nine months incarceration followed by four years probation, after Carter entered a guilty plea in the case.

Carter later appealed the sentence seeking full probation.

In a February decision, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the trial court's denial of judicial diversion and full probation but ruled that "the trial court erred in the imposition of nine months of incarceration."

According to the higher court, "The period of time ordered to be served in split confinement cannot exceed the defendant's release eligibility date. The release eligibility date for a Range I standard offender receiving a two year sentence is 7.2 months less certain sentence credits. The case was remanded back to the trial court for re-sentencing.

Meanwhile, in other court news Monday, 40 year old Alton David Estes entered a no contest plea to burglary and three counts of theft under $500.

He received a three year sentence to serve 90 days in the burglary case and 11 months and 29 days to serve 90 days in each of the theft cases, all to run concurrently. Estes must pay restitution of $2,150 to one of the victims in the case and restitution to another victim in an amount to be determined later. He must also perform 100 hours of community service work. Estes will report to jail April 30th. He was given credit for 52 days of jail time already served.

32 year old Russell Allen Blackwell pleaded guilty to two counts of sale of a schedule II controlled substance. He received a four year sentence to serve six months in each case and then he will be on Department of Corrections Probation supervised by Community Corrections. The cases are to run concurrently with each other but consecutive to a violation of probation against him in another case.

Blackwell must make restitution of $210, pay a $2,000 fine, and perform 100 hours of community service work. He was given credit for 28 days of jail time served.

33 year old Jason Douglas Campbell pleaded guilty to sale of a schedule III controlled substance and received a three year sentence, suspended to time served and probation. He must pay a $2,000 fine and make restitution of $50. Campbell must also perform 100 hours of community service work. He was given credit for 31 days of jail time served.

26 year old Jason Wayne Judd pleaded guilty to theft under $500 and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, all suspended to supervised probation. The sentence is to run concurrent with a White County case against him. Judd must make restitution of $828.30 and perform 50 hours of community service work.

60 year old Harold Gene Blackwell pleaded guilty to two counts of sale of a schedule II controlled substance and received a four year sentence to serve four months in each case and then be on TDOC probation. Fines were waived but he must make $210 restitution. The cases are to run concurrently with each other but consecutive to any General Sessions court case against him. Blackwell is to report to jail April 4th.

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