Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

April 25, 2013

Defendant given chance at new life

Jury was ready to hear assault case

By Michael R. Moser

CROSSVILLE — A Crossville man has been given a one-shot chance at turning his life around after accepting a plea deal that requires him to complete in-house intensive counseling for at least a year. If he fails, he goes straight to jail to begin serving his prison sentence.

For Troy Lee Rector, 21, who last listed an address on Braun St., alcohol was the bane of his young life, and before he reached the age of 21, he had logged a few arrests, all alcohol related. His drinking climaxed on March 8, 2012, when he brandished a knife toward a family member.

That incident led to his being scheduled to go on trial Wednesday, and a jury was ready to begin the process of hearing evidence when, at the last minute, Rector and his attorney, Assistant Public Defender John Nisbet, reached an agreement to settle the case and avoid prison time. But it is a one-shot deal, and if Rector falls short, he goes straight to jail.

Criminal Court Judge David Patterson noted that details of the agreement are straightforward: Rector pleaded guilty to a class C felony, aggravated assault, and received a three-year sentence to be served at 30 percent.

The sentence was then suspended to allow him to immediately enter the intensive counseling and life skills program of Teen Challenge.

"If you are not successful in that program, the sentence will be yours to serve," Patterson told Rector. He added that there would be no additional hearings, no get out of jail free card. An order would be issued for Rector to serve the sentence.

Rector told the judge that he understood, and in the audience was a representative of the Avalon Center, ready to purchase the bus ticket to deliver Rector to his new home for at least the next year.

Assistant District Attorney General Amanda Worley told the court that she had been in contact with the victim and that the victim was in full support of the resolution of the case.

Evidence would have shown that on March 8, 2012, Rector and Kendra Houston got into a confrontation that turned physical and ended up with Rector pulling a pocket knife and threatening Houston with the weapon. Crossville Police reported Rector was intoxicated at the time.

As part of the agreement, Rector is to have no contact with Houston. In addition, two charges of underage drinking were dismissed.