Monday, July 29, 2013

Law and Order in the Ozarks (Part CXVIII): Drug cases again dominate court docket

The July 24, 2013, issue of the Newton County Times features a front-page headline, "Six years for battery conviction," which reports on the 72-month sentence given to Timothy Len Shatwell for battering an intimate partner, threatening that partner's 8-year-old daughter, and engaging in other destructive behavior.  In fact, having read the full details of his crimes, I am surprised that his sentence is not longer.  The man was initially charged with theft of property, a Class D felony; possession of firearms by certain person, a Class D felony, feeling, a Class C misdemeanor and criminal mischief in the first degree, a Class A misdemeanor.  Those charges stemmed from a February 2 incident in which the defendant drove through a fence and onto another man's property where he hid in a shop building.  When a deputy sheriff followed him there, a short chase ensued.  The defendant, who had previously been convicted of a felony, also had taken his father's gun with the man's permission, resulting in the firearm charge.   Remarkably, all of these charges were "dismissed" on July 9, when the man pleaded no contest or guilty in another case.  That other case involved the man's March 4, 2013 battery against a 35-year-old woman whom ho he took to his residence where he struck her in the head and face and dragged her by the hair along the floor, causing a fracture to her eye socket and loss of full vision in that eye.  He threatened both the woman and her daughter.  He prevented the woman from leaving his residence the following day and kept her phone from her.  After pleading guilty/no contest to second degree battery, a Class C felony and other charges, he was sentenced to 72 months in the Arkansas Dept. of Corrections, with credit for 126 days of jail time already served.

In other adjudicated cases, a 26-year-old woman pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor. She was sentenced to 38 days in jail with credit for time served and given 327 days of probation and ordered to pay a $500 fine, along with court costs and other fees.

26-year-old Brett Nelson entered a plea agreement  and was sentenced to six years in the Arkansas Dept. of Corrections after he allegedly broke a padlock on a gate and entered the property of another individual where he broke out a window to gain entrance to a home.  Nelson then took a Ruger 10-22 semi-automatic with a scope, valued at $350. He then entered a cabin on the same property where he took a Hopkins and Allen 16-guage shotgun valued at $100. He allegedly also entered a cellar, took three boxes of ammunition, two digital cameras, a jewelry box containing several rings and knives all valued at $400.  The six year sentence will be suspended if the defendant successfully completes the Boone County Drug Court Program.  He was also fined $1000 and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,143.23.

Jesse Wayne Brock, age 31, pleaded guilty to various drug charges and was sentenced to 24 mounts in the Arkansas Dept. of Corrections, with a 72-month suspended sentence following it.  He also fined $1000.  The charges stemmed from Brock's methamphetamine use and the fact he had a drug lab in Newton County.  Brock was arrested in neighboring Madison County, and his sentence in Newton County runs concurrent with the Madison County case.

Ninon Wood Brannon, a 54-year-old woman was placed on 12 months probation and fined $1000 plus court costs and fees after she was found in possession of components for a clandestine meth lab.  She was also accused of being in possession of psilocybin mushroom growing materials, including mushroom sprouts, and 19 marijuana plants.

In the Sheriff's report for the week, three of the six persons persons booked into the jail were charged with drug crimes.  Among the others, one was charged with fishing without a license, one (a woman) with domestic battery, and the last with driving while license suspended.

In other news, Arkansas's 100th rabies case was reported, a cat in neighboring Boone County.

Also, the Newton County Farm family of the year, Senior Farmer of the Year, Junior Farmers of the Year, and Woman Farmer of the Year have all been featured in recent issues of the Times.

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