By Michael R. Moser
A teen with ties to Cumberland County who authorities said was one of two men who committed a home invasion of the residence of a Pleasant Hill area scrap gold dealer has pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary.
Joey Allen Pugh, 19, whose address at the time of his arrest was Glenwood Trailer Park, pleaded guilty to the charge in the indictment that stemmed from a home invasion May 22 of last year.
The homeowner, Albion Salvatore Buechel of Arthur Seagraves Rd., shot a second assailant, Jacob Andrew Clark, 20, of Monterey. Clark's body was found a short distance from the house with a gunshot wound to the chest.
At the time of the incident, Sheriff's Investigator Casey Cox said the two forced their way into the Buechel residence and began assaulting him in an apparent failed robbery attempt. Buechel, armed with a .22 caliber handgun, managed to get off three shots, with one striking Clark. Buechel reportedly suffered lacerations and abrasions during the scuffle.
Pugh was facing a three to six year sentence with fine of up to $10,000. By pleading guilty, he has a cap of three years to serve, but Judge Leon Burns on Feb. 15 will decide how the sentence will be served.
During the sentencing hearing, it will be determined as to whether Pugh qualifies for judicial diversion. Other sentencing options include serving part of the three-years in prison and the remainder on supervised probation, or serving the entire three years on probation.
Pugh has been incarcerated since his May 22 arrest not far from the Buechel residence.
Buechel also appeared in court recently, charged with violating the state law governing holding of gold purchased from individuals for a specified amount of time, and has asked for a trial which is scheduled for March 27.
In other cases on the docket, the following took place:
•Aaron Dale Ashburn, 20, charged with aggravated assault, statutory rape, evading arrest and two counts of unlawful consumption, pleaded guilty to statutory rape and received a one-year prison sentence to serve and is restrained from having any contact with the victim. He will be given credit for 135 days already served, but will not be required by law to register as a sex offender. He also pleaded guilty to simple domestic assault and received an 11-month and 29-day sentence to serve, concurrent with the statutory rape sentence. He is also restrained from having contact with the victim in that case. Remaining charges were dropped.
•Michael A. Gaines, 24, charged with two counts of theft of more than $500, pleaded guilty to one count of theft of more than $500 and received a two-year sentence with credit for time served and concurrent with violation of probation cases in Anderson and Roane counties. The second count will be dropped upon payment of $698 restitution.
•Alexander Michael Calabrese, 19, charged with two counts of aggravated burglary, theft of more than $1,000, vandalism and criminal simulation, pleaded guilty to theft of more than $1,000 and received a three-year prison sentence, with remaining counts along with cases pending in General Sessions Court dismissed.
•Nicholas Jason Leach, 38, charged with sale and delivery of a schedule II drug, obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, theft of more than $500 and theft of $500, pleaded guilty to attempted sale of a schedule II drug and theft of more than $500, and was sentenced to a total of four years in prison, suspended for supervised probation under judicial diversion, with remaining charges dropped.
•Michael Eugene Sherrill, 40, charged with two counts of violation of the habitual motor vehicle offender law and fourth offense driving on a revoked license, pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the habitual motor vehicle offender law and received two one-year suspended sentences to be served concurrently on supervised probation. Revoked license charge was dropped.
•Donna Thompson, 55, charged with two counts each of possession of oxycodone for sale and for delivery, pleaded guilty to two counts of delivery of oxycodone and received two 10-year suspended prison sentences to be served on house arrest of community corrections for one year and supervised probation for the remaining nine years. She was also fined $5,000 and is to pay $305 restitution.
•Timothy Everette Walker, 22, charged with theft of more than $10,000, pleaded guilty to theft of less than $10,000 and received a two-year suspended sentence to be served on supervised probation. He is to pay $1,345 restitution, $75 to the Economic Crime Fund and court costs.
•Richard Chandler, 54, charged with driving under the influence, evading arrest and possession of a weapon by a felon, pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to two years in jail, with all but 150 days suspended, with the balance on supervised probation. He was fined $365, is to pay court costs and forfeited the weapon.
•Joseph Randall Rolen, charged with theft of more than $1,000, pleaded guilty to the charge and received a two-year prison sentence to be served consecutive to a probation violation sentence. He is also responsible for restitution, if any.