Circuit Court Judge David Talley heard several cases Thursday during the criminal division of Columbia County Circuit Court.
Several men were sent to prison.
Demetrius McDowell, a habitual offender with four or more felonies, received 22 years total in the Arkansas Department of Corrections after telling the judge that he’d been unable to meet probation officers after his last arrest because he had been strung out on drugs.
He admitted to possessing methamphetamine, marijuana and hydrocodone.
McDowell said he also had transportation issues and could not make it to drug rehabilitation programs. He said finding drugs was no problem on Smith Street in Magnolia, even when he had no money to pay for them.
“People would give it to me and I would do things like paper work, things around the house, it was like a barter system,” McDowell said.
Talley gave McDowell his prison sentence in different pieces to run consecutively. For one revocation-probation charge, Talley gave him 6 years, for the other he gave him 10 years and for count two of that charge, McDowell got six years.
The sentence Talley handed down was more than Deputy Prosecutor Ryan Rainwater sought before the case was heard. Rainwater had asked for a 12 to 15 prison sentence at ADC.
McDowell was also delinquent in paying his court costs and fees.
Michael T. Green received 20 years in ADC for one revocation of suspended imposition of sentence (SIS) and 5 years for another one but they are to run concurrently, so he will serve a total of 20 years in ADC. He was also given 15 years SIS for two more cases of revocation but they will run concurrently as well.
Green’s record included shoplifting, and multiple failures on drug tests for methamphetamine, amphetamine and marijuana. In addition, he failed to report to parole officers, failed to report to substance abuse treatment and is delinquent in paying his court costs and fees.
Green asked Talley if he could go to a drug rehabilitation program called the 180 Group at a local United Pentacostal Church and do drug court classes. He said he now has transportation and that had been a problem in the past.
Talley told Green there were 40 additional years at his disposal to sentence Green to if he didn’t come out of prison as a different person. A requirement for Green in prison will be to complete the long-term substance abuse program. All court costs and fees will be due as well for Green.
Wallace Robinson Jr., a habitual offender with four prior felonies, was sentenced to five years in ADC and 10 years of SIS for possessing marijuana with a purpose to deliver on April 4, 2019. Robinson was found to have the marijuana during a stop on South Vine.
Kevin Curry received a total of 8 years in ADC for violating his probation and possessing methamphetamine with two prior felonies. Talley also gave him SIS for 10 years.
Barry Scott, facing charges of battery II, was given five years’ probation for punching a Magnolia police officer in the face with a closed fist on Aug. 3, 2019, when she tried to stop him while he was riding his bike down the road, Rainwater said. The stop was made because the officer feared for Scott’s safety. In addition to the probation, Scott faces 60 days in county jail and all court costs and fees associated with the case.
LaCadran Thomas violated his SIS and was given SIS for another 10 years. Talley said the only reason Thomas was not going to prison was because he was being admitted into the state’s program which tracks those who are mentally ill. Thomas pleaded guilty to a residential burglary on October 11, 2017 on Angela street in Waldo. He got into an altercation with a woman inside the residence.
Jonathan McWilliams, in court for his possession of marijuana charge, asked the judge to be able to pay for his community service hours because he can’t perform them due to his work situation. Talley said there is a $10 per hour buy out on the community service hours and the case will be reviewed on April 16 court date to see how it looks.
Lori Morehead successfully completed the Drug Court program and paid all court costs and fees and will have her record sealed for charges of possessing a controlled substance, possessing drug paraphernalia, driving with a license canceled or suspended; defective tail light and insurance required. The news she was complete with her program was met with some applause in the courtroom.
Robert Smith pleaded no contest to displaying a firearm and showing substantial danger to others on December 8, 2018 at a residence on Couch Street in Waldo. Talley said he would take the plea under advisement. However, Talley warned Smith that he might not have any more grace left by the March 18 return court date after Talley found out Smith tested positive for marijuana in his drug test before coming before the court Thursday. Smith also must pay court costs and fees.
Chris Lewis received probation of five years after pleading guilty to possessing marijuana, methamphetamine, syringes and pipes when she was stopped by Magnolia Police on December 7, 2019. She will also have to pay court costs and fees associated with the case.
Alyssa Jones, charged with forgery for having false Texas tags on her vehicle during a traffic stop plead guilty and received consideration to be in the Alternative Sentencing Program.
Dylan Burge plead guilty to possession of marijuana and LSD on Oct. 5, 2019. Burge was stopped when police saw someone pull into the parking lot of the Peoples Bank location on 79 Bypass North and turn the lights off inside the car. Police who made contact noticed the smell of marijuana and in a search found the LSD. Talley wants Burge to benefit from a drug program and he is supposed to be trying to get into River Ridge Treatment Center in TexARKana.
Billie Parker was given probation of five years for being found guilty of battery in the second degree. Criminal defense attorney Jessica Yarbrough said Parker takes a substantial amount of medication and needs to be in a long-term facility for her mental health but when Talley asked Parker if she had made any calls she said no. Parker also told the judge she would have trouble paying back court costs and fees because she has no extra money when her bills are paid.
Jadakris Johnson, who was supposed to be in court for two cases of revocation-probation did not show up for court. Talley issued two bench warrants for him.
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