Bobby Dwaine England is back in state custody.
The Cumberland County man whose guilty pleas to two vehicular homicide cases in 2008 were thrown out last week revisited the same courtroom and pleaded guilty again. He traded TDOC prison blues for a bright orange county jail jump suit after his guilty pleas were thrown out. Now that he has pleaded guilty to the same traffic deaths, he is back in TDOC prison blues.
Instead of receiving two 24-year sentences to be served consecutively — or one at a time — England will serve a 27-year-sentence at 35 percent.
District Attorney Randy York's staff scrambled to address the issue after Criminal Court Judge David Patterson ruled that England had not been advised by his attorney, Tom Beesley, that he might have to serve consecutive sentences.
York and members of his staff met with family members of the two victims — Mary Rosanna Elmore, 38, and Tony D. Lewis, 41 — and negotiated a new sentencing agreement with England through his attorney Tiffany Lyon.
The fatal crash occurred in March of 2008 on Linary Rd. England was critically injured and later admitted to troopers that he had been drinking prior to the crash and he was the driver of the vehicle involved. A test showed England's blood alcohol .23 percent after the crash.
England pleaded guilty in April 2009 to two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide on advise of Beesley, who believed at the time that the most sentence England would serve was 23 years.
During the sentencing hearing, England's lengthy criminal record including multiple convictions for drunk driving and one robbery conviction, led Patterson to hand down the two 24-year sentences to be served back-to-back at 100 percent.
An additional problem facing state prosecutors is recent Tennessee Court of Appeals rulings that have been unfavorable toward judges making sentences consecutive.
"Our purpose is for him to go right back into where he came from, in incarceration," Deputy District Attorney Gary McKenzie told the court.
England had been held under $250,000 bond since his conviction was thrown out, but he never was able to make bond and remained in the county jail. With the guilty pleas, he returns to the state prison system.
"Though it is not what we had originally, I hope there is some comfort in what has happened today," Patterson told family members. "Sometimes we don't understand how we come to be in the position that we are in, but we are."
During the sentencing hearing, Patterson repeatedly asked England if he understood his rights, his decision and the ramifications of his guilty plea. England said yes to all the questions.
"If you have any questions, now is the time to ask," Patterson said. England responded that he had none.
After the pleas were entered, McKenzie told the court that the families of the victims have been informed on what was going to take place and were in agreement.
Defendant never tasted freedom
Bobby Dwaine England is back in state custody.
- Area News
Celebrating a year of writing our area's history
Now that this column has passed its first birthday, I’d like to send thanks to those of you from our county and around the country who have sent messages and questions about things you’ve read in the Uncle Gib section. It is hard to cover many of these events in 500 words, and I try not go cover the same event more than three weeks. Research must be cut way down, and the most interesting information on each subject included.
Celebrate Farmers Market Week Aug. 3-9
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared August 3 through 9, 2014, “National Farmers Market Week.” Throughout the week, USDA will celebrate the nation’s thousands of farmers markets, farmers who make them possible and the communities that host them.
County OKs resolution for CMC/Covenant refinance deal
Cumberland County commissioners passed a resolution Monday evening giving its approval for Covenant Health to refund its bonds to refinance $40 million for Cumberland Medical Center.
The request was made by Covenant Health, a Tennessee nonprofit corporation which now operates Cumberland Medical Center.
Plea includes ban from all Wal-Mart stores
A Crossville man who was facing two counts of theft of more than $500, relating to shoplifting incidents at the Crossville Wal-mart, has entered a guilty plea, and part of his sentence is being banned from all Wal-Mart stores.
Forgery charges net six months in jail
A Crossville woman already on parole because of a felony theft conviction has pleaded guilty to two felony counts relating to forged checks and received a split sentence with six months to be serve in jail.
Unfunded mandates a challenge for schools
Director of Schools Donald Andrews has expressed local concerns regarding unfunded state mandates in education to Gov. Bill Haslam in an informal meeting between the governor and area administrators and teachers.
Vote early to avoid delays
Cumberland County Election Administrator Suzanne Smith is encouraging Cumberland County voters to take advantage of the early voting period, which continues through Aug. 2 at the Election Commission Office at 2 S. Main St.
Showcase of driving tours set today at Cumberland Mountain
Discover the hidden gems of The Promised Land and Pie in the Sky Trails during the showcase 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, at Cumberland Mountain State Park. This special event is free and open to the public.
Get on the water this weekend
Volunteers from the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association offer basic instruction for kayakers at the 2013 Waterfest. This year’s event is set for Saturday at Meadow Park Lake from 2 to 8 p.m. There will be activities for the whole family, with food, exhibits, kids games, live music and water activities, with TSRA instructors offering rides on canoes, kayaks and sit-on-top kayaks. There will also be pontoon tours of Meadow Park Lake from 3 to 7 p.m., offering a chance to look for wildlife. The University of Tennessee Concrete Canoe Team will be demonstrating their craft, as well, at 2:30 p.m.
Haslam makes stop in county
Gov. Bill Haslam stopped by Cumberland County for breakfast Tuesday morning, encouraging everyone to get out and vote during the early voting period.
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