Allen James Dick — through his own admission — has struggled with addiction since age 16 when he discovered oxycontin and oxymorphone.
That addiction — that testimony claimed runs in the family — led to a burglary and theft charges to which he pleaded guilty in 2015. What followed has been repeated failed efforts at gaining sobriety through a series of poor decisions and relapses while in rehab programs.
Dick pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, theft of property of more than $1,000 and theft of property of up to $1,000 and received a five-year prison sentence.
As part of that agreement, Dick was required to attend long-term treatment and obtain an alcohol and drug assessment and to follow any recommendations as a result of that assessment.
He has been in and out of rehab programs and jail since that date.
He lost judicial diversion. In one probation violation hearing, Dick was found to be in violation and was ordered to serve 120 days in jail with probation extended another year.
Once again, Dick was allowed furlough to attend and out-of-state treatment program.
At that hearing, Criminal Court Judge Gary McKenzie told Dick, “Everyone wants to be clean,” McKenzie told Dick. “But, today, the compassion ends. You are on the edge of going to prison. This is your last chance. You have three options from here on out. You will spend your life in orange. Your parents will bury a child. Or, you can put your mind to it and get free of this. Your choice.
“We will always have room for you back here,” the judge told Dick.
On Aug. 7, Dick, 24, stood before Criminal Court Judge Wesley Bray for the first time on another probation violation. This time he was accused of failing to complete a drug treatment program the court had approved for him to attend — and complete — in St. Louis.
In the Aug. 7 hearing, Dick testified that he thought the St. Louis treatment through Adult and Teen Challenge was a 12-month program. He entered the program in October 2018 and after completing the bulk of what was required, was promoted to an intern position.
Dick said he met all his goals but ran afoul of technical violations like having a girlfriend and getting accused of being in disputes with others.
As a result, Dick never received his 12-month certificate of completion. In February 2020 he walked out of the facility, after an argument in a halfway house, and returned to Tennessee.
Meanwhile, Dick testified that his sister had completed a treatment program in Knoxville and has been successful in her sobriety since. He told Judge Bray he wanted to attend that program.
Dick has not been charged with new crimes since the 2015 charges that landed him with a split sentence of jail time and court-ordered treatment under terms of probation.
Assistant Public Defender Laura Dykes told the court that Dick just wanted to continue working toward a life of sobriety.
Assistant District Attorney Amanda Worley told the judge enough was enough.
Dick has attended five or more treatment programs since 2015 and still tested positive for controlled substances.
She asked Dick be ordered to serve the balance of his five-year sentence.
Bray expressed concern as to why Dick did not receive the certificate of completion that Dick said he earned in the St. Louis program.
Realizing that Dick is close to serving 30 percent of the five year sentence that would be required, the judge reasoned a probation requiring a one-year treatment program might take more of Dick’s freedom than just serving the balance of jail time.
After mulling over the decision for a few minutes, the judge told Dick, “I am going to take a chance on you … it is your last chance.”
He then allowed Dick to attend a one-year treatment program at Integrity House in Knoxville. If Dick fails to complete the program, there are two Criminal Court judges waiting to invoke his sentence.
In other probation violation cases on the docket, the following took place:
•Aaron Arthur Antes, pleaded guilty to the probation violation and is to serve the balance of a two-year sentence concurrently with Roane County sentence.
•Eva Marie Ashburn, pleaded guilty to the probation violation of obtaining new charges and is to serve 75 days in jail and then be released under house arrest supervision of community corrections.
•Angela Lorine Barnes, Public Defender’s Office appointed to represent Barnes and probation violation hearing continued to Sept. 1.
•Amber Dawn Bow, probation violation based on not paying fines, court costs and restitution, had fines and court costs waived; continued to Dec. 2 for status check on payment of restitution.
•Phillip Aaron Calley, pleaded guilty of probation violation of getting new charges and is to serve four months in jail at 75 percent and then be released from the 11-month and 29-day probation.
•Tyler Lynn Crisp, probation violation hearing continued to Sept. 1.
•Garrett Gielissen, probation violation hearing continued to Sept. 1.
•Andrea Nicole Haines, probation violation based on failure to report on a one-year sentence, was granted credit for time already served in jail.
•Richard Leo Harris, probation violation based on failure to pay court costs, continued to Sept. 1.
•Austin Shane Paul Lewis, probation violation hearing continued to Sept. 1.
•Valerie Jolene Miller, probation violation warrant dismissed.
•William Arnold Miller, court costs waived and was granted credit for time already served in jail. Miller still has to pay restitution.
•Derrick Ray Reed, court costs waived and probation violation hearing continued for payment of restitution to Dec. 2.
•Travis Lee Sadula, pleaded guilty to the probation violation of failing a drug test and is to serve the balance of a three-year sentence with credit for some time already served.
•Daniel Eugene Sherrill, probation violation hearing continued to Sept. 1.
•Melanie Sue Stoner, probation violation hearing continued to Dec. 2.
•Demario Leshun Sumlar, probation violation hearing continued to Sept. 1.
•Desiree Christine Powell Taylor, probation violation hearing and introducing contraband into a penal institution continued to Sept. 1.
•Sean Matthew Waters, on probation for a six-year sentence, was denied bond on a probation violation based on a new charge and had probation violation hearing continued to Sept. 1.
•Rachael Celest Wilder, Public Defender’s Office appointed to represent Wilder and probation violation hearing continued to Sept. 1.
•Addison Paige Woody, Jeff Vires appointed to represent Woody and probation violation warrant continued to Sept. 1.
•Christopher James Yarnell, probation violation hearing continued to Sept. 1.
•Robert Eugene Presley Jr., arraignment on auto burglary charge, bond set at $10,000 and continued to Sept. 11.