Judge Sets Drug Case For Trial After Defense Attorney Complains Of Handling Of Case

Monday, February 11, 2013

Federal Judge Sandy Mattice has refused to accept a guilty plea and instead set the case for trial in a matter in which the defendant's attorney complained about the handling of the case by the prosecutor's office.

Judge Mattice set sentences for three defendants in a Lincoln County meth case, but rejected the plea for Shane Howell after attorney Kyle Headrick said he was not given full information in which to advise his client.

However, Judge Mattice said he was "surprised that you are surprised" by the way the case unfolded.

He and prosecutor Terra Bay said that is the way drug cases are normally handled.

Attorney Headrick said he was told his client was responsible for 75 grams of meth, then later learned that meth from other defendants would also be attributed to him - pushing up the sentencing range. He called it "manifestly unfair." He said, "I have contacted several other attorneys and none of them have had this happen to them."

Judge Mattice said of Howell, "I don't see why he deserves less time in prison. You're asking me to ignore the facts."

Attorney Headrick said he was not asking to withdraw the plea, but the judge said the case would go to the trial docket. In most instances, federal defendants can get much less time by entering into a plea deal than facing a jury.   


Hamilton County Woman Charged With TennCare Fraud, ID Theft

A Hamilton County woman is charged with TennCare fraud and identity theft for obtaining medical treatment and using a TennCare member’s benefits to pay for them. The Office of Inspector General announced the arrest of Deborah Faye Ellis, also known as Deborah Hanes, Deborah F. Lee, and Deborah Faye Lee, 58, of Chattanooga.  Ms. Ellis was being held at the Lee Arrendale ... (click for more)

Early Voting Numbers In Tennessee Up Over 19,000 For 4 Days

Early voting numbers in Tennessee are up over 19,000 after four days. Hamilton County up 1,974 -helped with the increase. There were 3,949 after four days in August 2010, and 5,923 currently. Bradley County is down 690 and Rhea down 197. Marion County is up by 74. Kerry Steelman, administrator of elections, said, "It's exciting to see these numbers. This is the kind ... (click for more)

Pickle Ball? - And Response

Collegedale has done some wonderful things for its residents.  The Greenway is a perfect example of money well spent on helping to give her residents the opportunity to improve their lives, at least from a health standpoint. Having taught at Wolftever Creek for a decade plus, I was fortunate to have opportunity to take my classes on walks from time to time.  It provided ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Say It Ain't So, Larry Joe!

Larry Joe Wheelon, the tainted horse trainer who was charged with 18 counts of aggravated animal cruelty when his barn was raided in April of 2013 and some animals were sored so badly that they could barely walk, finally went to a court hearing in Blount County on Wednesday and his steps toward Judge Tammy Harrington’s bench were decidedly heavy. My goodness, yours would have been ... (click for more)

Stone Leaves South Pitt For Coaching Positions At Boyd-Buchanan

The possibility of a career move was definitely in Wes Stone’s future. The one he took wasn’t necessarily on his radar screen just a few weeks ago. Stone, assistant football and head baseball coach at South Pittsburg, has left the Pirates for teaching/coaching positions at Boyd-Buchanan. The 38-year-old Stone, who already is working with the Bucs’ football team as a defensive ... (click for more)

Soddy-Daisy's Wright Commits To MTSU Baseball

Soddy-Daisy’s Andy Wright, a rising senior and dual-threat player, has made a non-binding verbal commitment to play baseball at Middle Tennessee State University. Wright, a pitcher/third baseman, chose the Conference USA Blue Raiders over Belmont, Air Force, Navy, UT-Martin and Carson-Newman. “I’m glad to get this (decision) off my back so I can enjoy my senior year,” Wright ... (click for more)