“If I could, I would give more time,” Criminal Court Judge David Patterson told Michael DeAngelo Abston during a sentencing hearing last Wednesday.
The judge ordered Abston, 51, of Junior Camp Rd., to the maximum two-year sentence for aggravated cruelty to animals, a charge to which the defendant pleaded guilty to in April.
The incident took place July 27, 2018, at the home of Abston’s brother, Greg.
Defense attorney Nathan Clouse of Crossville sought to have Abston released, pointing out that he has already served 203 days in jail and has not had a probation violation on his record for the past 17 years. Clouse noted that Abston had been successfully employed as a welder in the early 2000s and noted that the assessment “really can’t predict” if he will reoffend.
Clouse did not call any witnesses.
Assistant District Attorney Amanda Worley countered that Abston has had a host of arrests during that time period, ranging from reckless homicide — for which he served time and probation for ten years — aggravated and domestic assaults, several drunk-driving charges, possession charges and driving offenses.
Worley called Tennessee Department of Probation and Parole Officer Dora Erazo-Cordova as a witness. She testified about the state-mandated assessment done prior to the sentencing hearing.
That assessment concluded that Abston scored high marks for behavior issues, impulsive anger, methamphetamine and alcohol use and that it was highly likely he would commit more crimes.
Worley also called Deputy Shawn Scott to testify about responding to the call reporting a dog being killed, and what he found. Abston’s brother, Greg, and a sister witnessed the incident and led the deputy to the edge of a wooded area where the dog was found, dead from head injuries, with blood coming from the nose and ears.
When Scott questioned Michael Abston, the deputy quoted him as stating, “it was his dog and it gets in his way and sometimes eats his food” as the reason he killed the animal.
Patterson noted that requiring Abston to serve the full sentence should be a deterrent to others in the community to not abuse animals. “I believe it is likely he will go out and re-offend,” the judge said.
Patterson also noted Abston’s lengthy record as support for that conclusion.
Abston will receive credit for the 203 days he has already served.
Two bound-over cases pending before the grand jury were dropped.
In other cases on the docket, the following guilty pleas were entered:
•Timothy Dean Barnes, 52, charged with sell, possession or delivery of oxymorphine and oxycodone, pleaded guilty to sale of oxymorphine and received a three-year suspended sentence to be served on supervised probation. Barnes was fined $2,000, is to pay court costs and obtain alcohol and drug assessment and follow any recommended treatment. The charge stems from an undercover drug investigation by the Crossville Police Department on May 12, 2017.
•Jarette Dewayne Boatwright, 41, theft of property of up to $1,000 and forgery of up to $1,000, pleaded guilty to forgery and received a two-year prison sentence, to be served concurrently with probation violation sentence. He is also banned from contact with the victim. The charges stem from a Dec. 24, 2018, incident.
•Tyler Gage Finley, 24, charged with theft of property of $1,000 to $2,500 and evading arrest, pleaded guilty to evading arrest and and received a one-year sentence to serve. The sentence is to be served consecutive to sentences in Cannon County. Finley was arrested Sept. 15, 2018, after he fled from sheriff’s deputies while traveling on an ATV that had been reported stolen. Finley also pleaded guilty to two theft of property of more than $1,000 charges stemming from the same date and received a two-year sentence, for a total of three years to serve.
•Jennifer Gaddis, 42, charged with felony possession of methamphetamine, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell and received a five-year sentence with credit for 23 days already served. Gaddis was fined $2,000 and is to forfeit money and other property seized during her arrest. Gaddis was arrested by Crossville Police, who were investigating reports of shoplifting at Burke’s Outlet.
•Garrett Gielissen, 26, charged with two counts of theft of merchandise of $1,000 to $2,500 and one count of theft of merchandise of up to $1,000, pleaded guilty to three counts of theft of property of up to $1,000 and received three 11-month and 29 -day suspended sentences to run consecutively, for a total of three years. Gielissen is to pay $2,682 in restitution to Walmart and is banned from that store. Probation supervision will be transferred to Roane County.
•Brooks Jonathan Lee, 40, charged with theft of merchandise of up to $1,000, pleaded guilty to the charge and received an 11-month and 29-day suspended sentence to be served on supervised probation. Lee is to pay $581.83 restitution and is banned from Walmart.
•Joseph Joshua Lovell, 62, charged with home improvement fraud of $1,000 to $10,000, pleaded guilty to attempted home improvement fraud and received an 11-month and 29-day suspended sentence to be served on supervised probation, is to pay $1,380 restitution at the rate of $125 a month and is banned from contact with the victim.
•Cherie Lynn Reid, also known as Hood, 33, charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and theft of merchandise of up to $1,000, pleaded guilty to possession of more than .5 grams of meth for sale and received an eight-year suspended sentence to be served on supervised probation, was fined $2,000 and is to pay court costs. Reid is to also pay $291.72 restitution to Walmart and is banned from that store.
•Wallace J. Rhea, 65, charged with felony possession of methamphetamine, pleaded guilty to simple possession of meth and received a six-month jail sentence, with credit for 89 days already served, and is to pay fine and court costs.
•Kyle Aaron Selby, 26, charged with theft of property of up to $1,000, pleaded guilty to the charge and received an 11-month and 29-day suspended sentence to be served on supervised probation. Selby is to pay $944.63 restitution to Kroger, and clerk’s fee, and is banned from Kroger.
•Jeffrey Dwayne Swallows, 37, two counts of aggravated assault, four counts of domestic assault and resisting a stop, arrest or search, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and received a four-year sentence to serve. He is being given credit for 224 days served.
•Mikell Tony Tasker, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, possession of a prohibited weapon, simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia stemming from a Feb. 28, 2018, arrest, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and received a four-year prison sentence and will forfeit the sawed-off shotgun. Remaining charges were dropped.
•Robert John Underwood, 52, charged with theft of property of $1,000 to $2,500 and fraudulent use of a credit/debit card of up to $1,000, pleaded guilty to theft of property of more than $1,000 and received a two-year suspended sentence to be served on supervised probation. He is to pay $3,730 restitution and clerk’s fee and is banned from contact with the victim.
•Shellie Marie Walker, 46, cruelty to animals, pleaded guilty to the charge and received an 11-month and 29-day suspended sentence with judicial diversion qualified. Walker forfeits rights to any of the dogs seized and will not be allowed to own or possess a dog for the year on probation. She is also responsible for any vet bills relating to the case.
•Sean Matthew Waters, 33, charged with introducing contraband into a penal institution stemming from a Jan. 29 incident, pleaded guilty to the charge and received a six-year suspended sentence with one year to serve in jail and the balance on supervised probation. Waters is being given credit for 141 days already served.
•Duane O. Whited, 41, two counts of violation of the habitual motor vehicle offender law, pleaded guilty to one count and received a two-year prison sentence to serve. The charges stem from an Oct. 25, 2018 traffic stop.
•Chad Kelly Allbert, 52, pleaded guilty to an information charging attempt to possession more than .5 grams of methamphetamine for resale and received a four-year suspended sentence to be served on supervised probation. The charge stems from an Oct. 19, 2018, arrest. Allbert is being given credit for time served since that date.
•Angela Denise Baisley, 41, pleaded guilty to an information charging possession of more than .5 grams of methamphetamine stemming from a November 2018 traffic stop and received a nine-year prison sentence, suspended to long-term in-house treatment, and is to pay court costs. Once rehab is successfully completed, Basiley is to report back to the court.
•Brenden James Carter-Libby, 21, pleaded guilty to an information charging possession of marijuana for resale and received a two-year suspended sentence to be served on supervised probation under judicial diversion terms.
•William Johnson Dixon, 28, pleaded guilty to an information charging aggravated burglary, stemming from a July 12, 2016, incident, and received a six-year prison sentence to serve.
•Joshua Ryan England, 28, pleaded guilty to an information charging felony evading arrest, stemming from a May 4 incident during which England fled from deputies while traveling on Hwy. 70 N. and Junior Camp Rd. He received a one-year sentence to serve.
•Mark Anthony Williams, 27, pleaded guilty to an information charging vandalism of more than $1,000 and received a one-year sentence to be served. He is to pay $2,057.25 restitution to the county.