Meaning Of Truth Not Decided, But Essex Prison Sentence Is Determined

Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - by Joseph Dycus

After multiple hearings and countless philosophical debates about the meaning of truth, Roscoe Tillman Essex’s Federal Court case finally concluded with a 24-month prison sentence.

“This case has given us the opportunity to explore almost everything under the sun,” said Judge Sandy Mattice, “and I don’t know if either side has carried their burden of showing what has actually happened.”

Essex was certainly involved in drug trade. That was not contested. Rather, the degree to which he was involved was subject to intense scrutiny. While Essex was believed to have lied to the state, his defense attorney Gene Shiles posited that his client did not willingly mislead the authorities.

“What Essex told officers was what he thought was the truth,” said Judge Mattice, who reiterated Essex’s mental health issues, “and there is no 'objective' way to say ‘that is what really happened.’”

Attorney Shiles asked for a downward departure on the sentence based on Essex’s mental and medical health. He also asked for Judge Mattice to possibly find a way to allow Essex to avoid the prison system.

“I believe (Essex’s mental state) did make this defendant more vulnerable to persuasion,” said attorney Shiles, portraying his client as an unwitting accomplice, “and I am concerned about Mr. Essex going into a prison population.”

“Well, it seems like the conduct he engaged in means there is an argument it required a certain level of critical thought,” said Judge Mattice, “but it is critically important he get his medication. He can go into the prison system as long as he’s on his meds, and he will get any treatments and accommodations after the mental evaluation.”

When asked if the state wanted Essex’s sentences to run concurrently, prosecutor Kyle Wilson was amenable, telling Judge Mattice, “The court can do whatever it wants, with no objections.”

Judge Mattice then proclaimed the sentence added three years of probation. When given a chance to speak, Essex questioned why his drug offense became a federal case.

“I was wondering why my case went federal,” asked the defendant.

“We may go to our graves wondering why your case went federal, but it did,” said Judge Mattice in response.

Judge Mattice allowed Essex to self-report by Feb. 12, which would give him a chance to gather a list of medications he needs before going into prison. Attorney Shiles thanked the court for its patience, saying “I appreciate how the court has looked at the case from several different angles.”

“It has been unusual in a lot of aspects,” said Judge Mattice. 


Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Latest Bradley County Arrest Report

AUDIO: County Commission Meeting 8/12/20


Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ALVAREZ, VICTOR ESTEBAN 622 4TH AVE APT 2 DALTON, 30721 Age at Arrest: 20 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT ... (click for more)

Click here for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)



Breaking News

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ALVAREZ, VICTOR ESTEBAN 622 4TH AVE APT 2 DALTON, 30721 Age at Arrest: 20 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT THEFT OF PROPERTY TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNALS VIOLATION DRIVING LEFT OF CENTER LINE IMPROPER TURN (MOTOR VEHICLE) RECKLESS DRIVING FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY DRIVING WITHOUT DRIVERS ... (click for more)

Latest Bradley County Arrest Report

Click here for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)

Opinion

PILOTs In The Pandemic Period

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed almost everything. But there are a few exceptions. One exception is how easy it still is for a company to get a Payment-in-Lieu-of-Tax (PILOT) Agreement from Hamilton County. On Wednesday at the Hamilton County Commission agenda meeting, commissioners and the county mayor appeared enthusiastic about approving a property tax break for Southern ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Sea To Shining Sea’

If you were to poll the most travelled among us, Portland, Ore., would be among the finalists on every list as “The Most Beautiful City” in the United States. Yet, today, it is a run-away choice as the ugliest in America. For over two-and-half months the state capital has unwillingly hosted a full-fledged riot almost every night. Two weeks ago, the city’s now-despicable mayor, leftist ... (click for more)

Sports

Lee University Postpones Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball Until At Least Jan. 1

Lee University in partnership with the Gulf South Conference will postpone competition in basketball, soccer, and volleyball until at least Jan. 1. These sports are identified as high contact risk sports by the NCAA and are subject to significant testing requirements for all student-athletes and "inner bubble" personnel. Three significant factors helped the conference ... (click for more)

Covenant Postpones All Fall Sports

The USA South Athletic Conference announced that it is postponing fall sports competition due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The presidents of the USA South voted unanimously to postpone all fall sports conference competition until the spring 2021 semester. The USA South sports impacted are football, men's soccer, women's soccer, volleyball, men's cross country, and ... (click for more)