Local News Articles

Special Event Station To Be Held At Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree

June 23, 2017
by: 
Freddy Curtis
Freddy Curtis operating the contact desk

The DeKalb/Cannon County Amateur Radio Club will be conducting a Special Event Station during the Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree on Saturday, July 1st, 2017 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the front entrance of the Justin Potter Library. Ham radio operators will utilize their skills to contact other amateur (Ham) stations throughout the US and worldwide to publicize and show local support for the Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree. These contacts will take place on the following frequencies in the Amateur Radio Bands: 14.280 (USB), 14.045 (CW), 7.275 (LSB) & 7.045 (CW) MHZ. The public is invited to come by and participate in this event. All amateurs in the area are asked to monitor 145.49 MHZ for more information.

The DeKalb/Cannon County Amateur Radio Club is an organization of amateur radio operators from DeKalb and Surrounding Counties and is an affiliated club of the American Radio Relay League. Call 597-9563 for additional details and information.

Picture caption: Freddy Curtis operating the contact desk

Steven Jennings Signs Contract, Gets $1.9 Million Bonus

June 23, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Steven Jennings, Surrounded by Family, Signs Contract with Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced Thursday they have signed Steven Jennings to a contract.

Jennings, who was taken by the Pirates in the second-round of the Major League Baseball Draft last week and 42nd overall, will receive a $1.9 million bonus, which is reportedly $264,500 over the slot value for his pick.

The right-handed pitcher from DeKalb County High School spoke with WJLE Friday morning from Pittsburgh by phone . “I signed Thursday afternoon. We flew to Pittsburgh. We left on Monday and got up here and got settled in. We took a tour of the city. We walked around the city and did some fun stuff. We got a tour of the PNC Park and then met with them at their administrative office and signed a contract,” he said.

Jennings said he will be flying to Tampa, Florida where he will spend the next three months playing rookie ball. “I am in the airport at Pittsburgh. I’m flying to Tampa to start playing rookie ball. I will be there until September and then I will get to come home for the rest of September. After this first year goes they assign you to wherever they want you to go,” said Jennings.

To date the Pirates have signed 25 of their 40 picks. Their highest unsigned pick is third-rounder Dylan Busby, who is playing in the College World Series with Florida State.

Local Educator Retires After 36 Years

June 22, 2017
by: 
Bill Conger as a special feature for WJLE
Lisa Cripps

Lisa Cripps relaxes in her rocking chair, one of six sitting across a lengthy porch along the front of her house. She sips a cup of coffee and takes in the view of the 200-acre farm in Liberty that belonged to the grandfather of her husband of 40 years, Jerald Cripps. It’s an ideal way to spend her day now that the DeKalb County Schools Supervisor of Instruction has said good-bye after 36 years in education.

“I’m pretty excited about retirement,” Cripps told WJLE in a recent interview.

Even though she’s stepping down from her first career, Cripps won’t be kicking back in that rocker too much. She will be working out of the county complex as the Drug Prevention Coalition Coordinator for DeKalb County.

“I’ve already been job shadowing the current coordinator just a little bit and really feel I have circled back to my love of science and drug education I taught many years ago,” says Cripps.

“I think drug prevention is a mission in the state of Tennessee,” says Cripps, who has felt called over the years to be involved in Christian mission work. “I think it’s starting to get a lot of attention from the higher up political people, so I hope to help in their efforts to battle this problem".

Besides her new position, Cripps will stay busy working on the farm.

“I do enjoy farming. A lot of people don’t know that about me. We raise Charolais cattle on two farms. What I’ve been doing the last week—bush hogging, fencing, and raking hay when the weather permits,” she adds.

Most importantly for this mother and grandmother is devoting more time to her family.

“I have six grandchildren that I love dearly and plan to spend a lot of time with them, as well as, the rest of our large family. The Frazier family has been very blessed over the years”.

Cripps’ children are Matt, a supervisor for UPS, (wife Melody), Jordan (wife Nicole), a Tool and Die maker, and Justin (wife Tiffany), a pharmacist who works in Murfreesboro and McMinnville hospitals.

Her oldest grandson, Christian, started in PreK at DWS this past school year.

“That’s where I started teaching so it’s pretty special to have him at DWS. [The principal] Mrs. Sabrina Farler has already asked me to be one of the school's volunteers, so I will be volunteering in the schools when I can.”

She also hopes to do more traveling. She and her husband have visited a lot of places including Brazil on a missionary trip. They recently went on a cruise to Alaska to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary and her retirement.

Her Career in Education
With both parents as educators, it probably seemed destiny for Cripps to go into education. Her father, Woodrow Frazier, was the first principal at DeKalb West School, and her mother, Louise who will be 100-years-old in July, started the first elementary library at Smithville Elementary School.

Cripps graduated D.C.H.S. in 1976 and immediately went to her parents’ alma mater, Middle Tennessee State University. At first she set her sights on psychology, but it wasn’t long before she switched majors to education. After earning her Bachelor’s degree, she served a short stint substitute teaching until she was hired in 1980 to teach reading and math in the upper grades at DeKalb West.

“When I first started teaching, Jean Hayes was the principal, and I did a little math teaching,” Cripps recalls. “I found out pretty quickly I did not have the love of math that some of my siblings have, my sister's Judy Kimbrell, retired Safety Coordinator, Peggy Thomas, Career Tech teacher, Kathy Hendrix was a math teacher at the high school before she became principal at DCHS, Deborah Fuson, retired accountant, my late brothers, John Frazier, was a physicist, who got the experiments ready to go up in the space shuttle, and Ronnie, who worked in Automotive Industry" .

Fortunately, she later moved to teaching science.

“I’m glad that science is what I fell in love with and got the opportunity to teach, because it really is in everything that surrounds and affects all living things".

During her tenure at DWS, she included Boating Safety and Hunter Safety in her curriculum at the request of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. In fact, once she received Teacher of the Year for Hunter’s Safety.

While working fulltime and raising her three children, Cripps studied for her Master’s degree at MTSU at night. After she finished her studies in administration in the middle of 1995 Cripps was called upon to transfer to Smithville Elementary as Assistant Principal.

“I had always worked with older children, but really grew to love those little children,” Cripps fondly remembers. “It was the only school in our system that wasn’t accredited, so I was told right up front by Mr. Ernest Ray (Superintendent of Schools at the time), we need to get this school accredited. It also was maxed out—850 students—. As a matter of fact, my office was the same broom closet Anita Puckett’s is still in today.”

“We started in and got a team together. Jane Groom was my co-chair. We had a team that worked really hard, and we got accredited that next year. That was a great accomplishment there. We also did some facelifts to that school, got some asbestos out and did some things there that really needed to be done.”

After five and a half years at SES, the assistant principal jobs were eliminated and Cripps was transferred to teaching at Northside Elementary School.

“In my life I have never entered a job that I didn’t feel like God had opened a door for me to enter,” Cripps explains. “I never did feel like that NSE was right fit for me and really was prayerful during that time, had a team praying with me. I never unpacked anything. All my friends would come by and they would say, Lisa, we’ll help you unpack. I said, ‘Don’t touch a thing! I do not feel a calling for here’.”

With her items still in boxes, Cripps got the call to teach science at DeKalb Middle School when Tom Hill moved to the computer lab.

“I was there right at ten years at DeKalb Middle School and loved the age group and subject assignments. That was really a family atmosphere, and I taught with Pat Barnes, Gail Kirksey, Vicky Terrell, Lori Hendrix, Tonya Sullivan, and Tena Davidson, I could name on. Just so many awesome people there and I enjoyed my time teaching science and reading.”

While at DMS, Cripps was named Teacher of the Year in 2008 for the county. A year later, she became the first and only teacher so far to win that prestigious honor at the regional level.

But it’s not necessarily the awards that mean the most to the veteran educator.

“If I had to look back at some of the big events of my life I’d have to say I have really enjoyed working in my church, Elizabeth Chapel Baptist Church. I enjoy serving there alongside my husband Jerald, and the other would be working with all the wonderful children over the years. It has been a joy to witness all their success after graduating."

In 2011, she heard about an opening for a supervisor’s position at the central office.

“I applied and served in as supervisor for the last six years. I will tell you, in all my years in education, administration is the hardest job you’re going to be in. It’s certainly the most stressful and you wear many job hats. ”

“I knew the first week I was on the job why God had placed me there. I am thankful for the overall knowledge of how a school system functions. You know the old saying, the grass is greener on the other side, until you have to start mowing it. That rings out very true for those in administration."

“I have learned a lot about people over the years. I’m thankful for my time there at Central Office and will forever remember my lasting friendships there".

After six years in that position and more than 3 decades total in education, the beloved educator is moving on with the next chapter of her life.

“I have enjoyed my years in education and look forward to whatever God opens the door for me to do in the future. I believe the key for any successful system is to work as a team and clearly communicate. It will be exciting to watch the progress our school system makes in the future, “Cripps said.

Petty Enters Plea in 2013 Officer Involved Shooting, Facing Six Year Sentence

June 22, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Randy Gerald Petty

A man who was shot after drawing a weapon on two officers of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department over four years ago was sentenced Tuesday in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

58 year old Randy Gerald Petty entered a plea to two counts of attempted aggravated assault and is facing a three year sentence in each case to run consecutively for a total of six years. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for September 11 to determine how Petty will serve the six year sentence.

Petty was named in a sealed indictment by the DeKalb County Grand Jury in April, 2014 charging him with the more serious offenses of two counts of attempted first degree murder. He was arrested without incident by agents of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

“ On May 23, 2013, Deputies (at the time) Jeremy Taylor and Erik Russell responded to a 911 call of shots being fired at 255 Petty Road in Smithville. There, while standing at the rear of Deputy Taylor’s vehicle, Deputy Russell saw and heard something off to his side. Using his flashlight, Russell spotted Randy Petty pointing a scoped rifle at the two deputies. Both of them drew their weapons and fired, striking Petty several times in his extremities. He later recovered from his wounds.

At the request of the District Attorney General at the time (Randy York), the TBI began investigating the case on May 23, 2013.

The two count indictment against Petty stated that "On or about May 23, 2013, Petty intentionally and with premeditation did attempt to kill Jeremy Taylor and Erik Russell, constituting the offense of attempted murder in the first degree.

36 year old Steven Levan Gandy, Jr. entered a plea by criminal information to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He received a four year TDOC sentence to serve. The term is to run concurrently with another case against him. His probation in a previous case was revoked. Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Wednesday, March 15 a detective and deputy went to Old West Point Road to do a probation search on Gandy. During a search they found .01 gram of meth in the house and .03 grams of meth in a barn on the property that field tested positive. The officers also found a 45 caliber pistol in the home and a 22 caliber rifle in the barn. Gandy was convicted in 2013 of initiation of a process to manufacture meth.

54 year old Troy Daniel Klingbeil entered a plea by criminal information to violation of the sex offender registry and received a two year TDOC sentence to serve 90 days in the DeKalb County Jail. The term is to run consecutive to a Wilson County case against him. He was given jail credit of 61 days. On April 19, Kingbeil did unlawfully and knowingly fail to timely disclose required information and or timely cause to be delivered the required registration/monitoring forms to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, pursuant to the Sexual Offender Registration and Monitoring Act.

54 year old Miriam Juanice Ellis of Murfreesboro entered a plea by criminal information to reckless endangerment and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended to supervised probation. The sentence is to run concurrently with her probation in a Rutherford County case.

Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, October 6, 2016 a deputy responded to the area of Old Snow Hill Road in reference to a vehicle which had been on private property but had left. The officer spotted the vehicle setting partly in the roadway on Old Snow Hill Road. The driver, Ellis, had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on her person. Her eyes were bloodshot and her speech was slurred. Ellis submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. She initially agreed but then refused to submit to a blood test.

23 year old Javier Ordaz Desirena entered a plea by criminal information to reckless endangerment and violation of the implied consent law and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended to CPS probation. He will lose is driver license for one year. Desirena was arrested on Saturday, February 4 for DUI and was cited for speeding, driver's license violation, registration violation, financial responsibility and implied consent. Desirena was stopped for a traffic violation and the officer detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from his breath. His speech was slurred and his eyes were red and blood shot. Desirena was unable to perform standardized field sobriety tasks successfully and he refused to give blood. All the other charges against him were dropped under this plea agreement.

55 year old Patricia Harris entered a plea to reckless endangerment by criminal information and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days on probation. Harris was charged on April 28, 2016 for unlawfully and recklessly engaging in conduct which placed or may have placed another person, to wit: innocent motorists and/or by-standers in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.

40 year old Juan Carlos Sosa Salazar entered a plea by criminal information to reckless endangerment and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended to CPS probation. All other charges against him in his case were dropped. Salazar was charged on December 2, 2016 for unlawfully and recklessly engaging in conduct which placed or might have placed innocent motorists and/or by-standers in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.

32 year old Nicholas Cody Walls entered a plea by criminal information to reckless endangerment and violation of the implied consent law. He received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days all suspended to CPS probation and he will lose his driver license for one year. All other charges against him in this case were dropped. He was charged on December 4, 2016 for unlawfully and recklessly engaging in conduct which placed or might have placed innocent motorists and/or by-standers in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury. He also refused to submit to a blood test

Patients Notified of Health Information Breach at Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital

June 21, 2017

Saint Thomas Health has identified a recent breach of patient health information at Saint Thomas Rutherford in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The health system has notified 2,859 of its patients about the breach which was discovered in April.

The investigation revealed the hospital documents, which did not contain social security numbers or patient medical records, were found along a remote and rural road in DeKalb County. The documents contained the patient’s name, date of birth, admitting diagnosis, account number and physician’s name. The reports reflected a small sample of patient census reports or logs during 2009-2010. As of now, the investigation has not revealed who may be responsible.

“Protecting the privacy of our patient’s information is always a top priority for us at Saint Thomas Health and Ascension,” said Cynthia Figaro, Corporate Responsibility Officer and Corporate Privacy Officer, Saint Thomas Health. “Once we were made aware of this breach, we immediately investigated the incident to ensure that no further disclosures were made. Based on our investigation, we do not believe that there is a financial risk to our patients. We sincerely apologize for this incident,” said Figaro.

Saint Thomas Health has contracted with a vendor that will ensure that all storage files are properly secured and accounted for until destruction. There is a toll-free number to call if any patients have questions regarding this incident: 1-844-310-2955.

Three Involved in Tuesday Crash

June 21, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
2012 Ford Fusion, driven by a 16 year old girl
2006 Chevy TrailBlazer driven by 87 year old Robert Redmon

Three people were involved in a two vehicle crash Tuesday at the intersection of West Broad and Mountain Street.

Trooper T.J. Withers of the Tennessee Highway Patrol said a 2006 Chevy TrailBlazer, driven by 87 year old Robert Redmon of Smithville was north on Mountain Street crossing Broad Street when his vehicle was struck in the passenger side by a 2012 Ford Fusion, driven by a 16 year old girl, who was traveling west on Broad Street.

Redmon and his wife, 82 year old Earlene Redmon, a passenger of the TrailBlazer, were taken by DeKalb EMS to St. Thomas DeKalb Hospital. The 16 year old girl was taken by private vehicle to the hospital.

Members of the Smithville Police and Fire Departments were also on the scene.

DeKalb Neighbors Helping Neighbors Blood Drive

June 21, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss donating blood Wednesday
Assessor of Property Shannon Cantrell, Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen, County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss, Road Supervisor Butch Agee, Alexandria Senior Director Sandy Brown, Trustee Sean Driver, Smithville Senior Director Pam Redmon, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, Sheriff Patrick Ray, and County Mayor Tim Stribling
Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen, Assessor of Property Shannon Cantrell, County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss, Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley, Trustee Sean Driver,  Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, and County Mayor Tim Stribling

Cookeville Blood Assurance and DeKalb County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss are teaming up again for another “DeKalb County Neighbors Helping Neighbors” blood drive and several elected and appointed county officials are joining the effort in support of local senior citizens centers.

The blood drive is scheduled for Wednesday, June 21 from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. at the county complex senior citizens center inside the bloodmobile and for every blood donation collected, these county officials will donate $2.00 to the senior citizens centers to be divided equally between the Smithville and Alexandria Centers.

“I have received commitments from Assessor of Property Shannon Cantrell, Trustee Sean Driver, Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen, Road Supervisor Butch Agee, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, County Mayor Tim Stribling, Sheriff Patrick Ray, and General Sessions Judge Bratten Cook, II along with Clerk and Master Deborah Malone and Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley,” said County Clerk Poss.

“All blood collected from the Cookeville Blood Assurance Center will supply the needs of hospitals in our communities first including DeKalb, Cannon, Smith, Wilson, White, Putnam, Warren, Jackson, and Overton Counties,” Poss continued.

Those who wish to schedule an appointment may go online at www.bloodassurance.org/dekalb or contact County Clerk Poss or Blood Assurance Coordinator Trudy Cody at 931-239-9411 or TrudyCody@bloodassurance.org.

Please remember to eat a good meal, drink additional water and bring a photo ID.

All donors will be given a FREE “Life Saving Journey” t-shirt and all donors will be entered for a chance to win a Recliner and a Vacation Giveaway valued at $1,500.

Suspected Marijuana Dealer Sentenced in Criminal Court

June 21, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Ricky LeRoy Randall
Marijuana Seized from home of Ricky LeRoy Randall
Nathan Bradley McMinn
Scott Tyler Faulkner
Donnie Dewayne Frazier

A suspected marijuana dealer appeared for sentencing in DeKalb County Criminal Court Tuesday, June 20.

Judge David Patterson presided.

47 year old Ricky LeRoy Randall of Old Blue Springs Road, Smithville entered a plea by criminal information to possession of a schedule VI drug for resale. He received a two year sentence with 120 days to serve. The sentence is to run consecutive to a Warren County case against him. Randall was fined $2,000 and ordered to forfeit $700. He was given jail credit from April 10 to June 20, 2017.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Monday, April 10 sheriff’s department detectives went to Randall’s home on Old Blue Springs Road to conduct a probation search of Randall, who is currently on probation out of Warren County for sale and delivery of a schedule VI drug.

During the search, detectives found outside of Randall’s residence in a white five gallon bucket approximately ten ounces of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana.

Inside Randall’s home, detectives found in the bedroom/bathroom a half ounce of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana, scales, a pipe, and rolling papers along with $700. They also recovered from the residence a package which contained a white five gallon bucket with approximately four pounds of a green leafy substance that was individually packaged and believed to be marijuana.

Randall was also charged with the DRL offense after he was observed operating a motor vehicle on a license which was revoked out of California. The DRL charge was apparently dropped in the plea agreement.

33 year old Nathan Bradley McMinn entered a plea to simple possession and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days suspended to supervised probation. The sentence is to run consecutive to his current probation. He was fined $2,000 and ordered to make restitution of $48 to the Smithville Police Department.

McMinn was one of eight persons indicted by the DeKalb County Grand Jury last December as a result of an undercover drug investigation by the Smithville Police Department.

“On January 14, 2016 the Police Department launched an undercover drug investigation based on several complaints of illegal drugs being sold throughout the city. Using a confidential informant we were able to make several buys throughout the city. The cases were presented to the DeKalb County Grand Jury on Monday, November 28, 2016 and sealed indictments were returned against these individuals” Chief Mark Collins told WJLE.

The indictment against McMinn and a co-defendant stated that “On January 29, 2016 they did unlawfully and knowingly sell and or deliver a controlled substance, to wit: Hydrocodone, a schedule II controlled substance.

38 year old Scott Tyler Faulkner of Nashville entered a plea to introduction of contraband into a penal institution. He received a three year sentence suspended to TDOC probation. The term is to run consecutive to another sentence he is serving.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 Faulkner arrived at the sheriff’s department to visit an inmate. While being checked in at the front desk, Faulkner asked to use the bathroom and then was stopped in the hallway by the jail sergeant for a random search. When the sergeant asked if he had anything in his pockets, Faulkner replied that he had some tobacco and Tylenol. Found in Faulkner’s right lower cargo pants pocket was a package wrapped with black tape which contained loose tobacco, rolling papers, a cigarette lighter, a suboxone strip, 45 red round pills believed to be Acetaminophen (500 milligrams), and three white oval pills thought to be Tizanidine (4 milligrams).

45 year old Donnie Dewayne Frazier of North Mill Street, Dowelltown entered a plea to possession of a schedule VI drug for sale and delivery. He received a two year sentence suspended to supervised probation. He was fined $2,000 and must forfeit a weapon.

Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 a deputy was dispatched to Game Ridge Road to meet with a landowner who had a field leased for crops. He reported that a pickup truck, occupied by two men, was stuck in the field and that no one had permission to be there. The men appeared to have been illegally hunting.

The officer spoke with both men in the truck and obtained consent to search. He found two firearms and a black bag which held five individual bags and a Mason jar all containing a green leafy substance thought to be marijuana. Frazier also produced another bag of the same substance (marijuana). Frazier told the officer that the bags and all contents belonged to him.

Former DeKalb County Jail Correctional Officer Enters Plea to Official Misconduct

June 20, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Francisco Rodriguez

A former Correctional Officer at the DeKalb County Jail who allegedly received money from inmates for smuggling tobacco and other items to them inside their cells entered a plea to Official Misconduct on Tuesday, June 20 in Criminal Court.

Judge David Patterson presided.

25 year old Francisco Rodriguez, under a plea agreement, is to receive a two year TDOC sentence all suspended to supervised probation. He has applied for judicial diversion.

Rodriguez was named in a sealed indictment returned by the DeKalb County Grand Jury on Monday, April 4, 2016. He was charged in the indictment for Official Misconduct and Introduction of Contraband.

Rodriguez worked for the Sheriff's Department as a Correctional Officer for six months before being terminated by Sheriff Patrick Ray after an internal investigation into the allegations.

Sheriff Ray told WJLE how the story unfolded.

"In December, 2015 I obtained information of one of the Correctional Officers putting small amounts of tobacco and other items into a cell at the DeKalb County Jail. This Correctional Officer was identified as Francisco Rodriguez".

"Rodriguez started with the department approximately six months prior to this investigation. His background check that was conducted on him had positive recommendations from people here in DeKalb County," said Sheriff Ray.

"As soon as the information about Rodriguez was given to me I immediately notified my detectives to start an internal investigation into this matter. I also contacted the District Attorney General's Office and obtained consent for my department to proceed with the internal investigation," he continued.

"During the course of the investigation my detectives did an outstanding job with their investigation work. They conducted surveillance work, obtained four search warrants, and interviewed multiple people in connection with the investigation. The detectives were also able to obtain information that Rodriguez had placed a cell phone into one of the cells where he could have secret conversations with inmates and set up drops of tobacco and other items for this particular cell. The cell phone was recovered in a cell area of the jail. The detectives also found that Rodriguez received money to perform these actions".

"As a result of the internal investigation I terminated Francisco Rodriguez on December 23, 2015", said Sheriff Ray.

Pharmacy Burglars Plead Guilty

June 20, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Joseph Graylon Nesbitt
Ericka Lynn Morgan
Donnie Ray Gillman
Allen Dean Dolberry
Dana Marie Dolberry

Two persons caught breaking into F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy in Alexandria last December appeared for sentencing in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Tuesday, June 20.

Judge David Patterson presided.

51 year old Joseph Graylon Nesbitt of Pleasant Shade and 22 year old Ericka Lynn Morgan of Granville each entered a plea by criminal information to burglary. Each received a four year sentence suspended to 120 days to serve with the balance on supervised TDOC probation. They are responsible for making restitution of $500 to the owners of the pharmacy and $799 to the insurance company. Nesbitt and Morgan were each given jail credit of 174 days.

A third co-defendant, 32 year old Bryan Christopher Matthews of Carthage entered a plea by criminal information on April 10 to one count of burglary and received a four year sentence on judicial diversion probation. He must make restitution of almost $1,300.

Alexandria Police Chief Chris Russell released the following prepared statement after the burglary. “On Wednesday night, December 28, 2016 at approximately 8:15 pm , Officer Flavis Burroughs was on patrol and noticed an audible burglar alarm going off at Webb’s Pharmacy located at 105 South Public Square in Alexandria. Upon arrival Officer Burroughs noticed the front glass door had been damaged and he observed a person inside the building climbing up a hole in the ceiling . As Officer Burroughs made his way around the back of the building , a white Dodge Truck fled the area of the burglary . Officer Burroughs stopped the truck on Edgewood Street a short distance away and detained the driver, Bryan Christopher Matthews , and a passenger , Joseph Graylon Nesbitt. DeKalb County Sheriff's Deputies arrived to assist . When the pharmacy owner arrived on scene and unlocked the building he heard a woman’s voice from inside the ceiling . The woman, Ericka Lynn Morgan was found hiding in the ceiling. Officers placed Ms. Morgan into custody. Further investigation revealed the three had made entry into the building by cutting a vent on the roof and going down through the ceiling. At the time of the report it appears nothing had been stolen . All three were arrested and booked into the DeKalb County Jail,” said Chief Russell.

In other court cases Tuesday, June 20,

36 year old Donnie Ray Gillman entered a plea by criminal information to burglary and received a two year sentence suspended to probation. The term is to run consecutive to another sentence against him. Gillman must make restitution of $650 to the victim

Smithville Police charged Gillman on Thursday, April 27 with theft and burglary. Gillman allegedly entered an outbuilding on Dearman Street and took several tools belonging to the victim without his knowledge or consent. As a result of the investigation, the items were returned to the victim and Gillman was taken into custody without incident.

37 year old Allen Dean Dolberry and 33 year old Dana Marie Dolberry of West Green Hill Road, McMinnville each entered a plea to theft of property under $1,000. Each received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days suspended to supervised probation. They are to make restitution of $810 to the victim.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, November 10, 2016 the Dolberry’s allegedly took several items from a residence on Cedar Drive including a Beretta 9 millimeter handgun, a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver, a Huskee log splitter, an Echo chainsaw, Echo grass trimmer, Stihl grass trimmer, an Oregon chainsaw, and other items with a total value of more than $1,000.

According to Sheriff Ray, detectives worked with officers in another county in solving the case. They identified the Dolberry’s as suspects in the theft and contacted the property owner who filed a report after conducting an inventory and listing the items taken. The Dolberry’s were subsequently arrested in the case.

25 year old Kristen Waggoner entered a plea to fraudulent use of a credit card and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days on CPS probation. She must make restitution of $306 to the victim. The term is to run concurrent with her current probation in another case.

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