A Crossville area man who asked for mercy in a drug case because he is a changed man and needed to be out of jail for his young son was given a split sentence following a hearing late last month.

Aaron Ray Davis, 22, pleaded guilty on May 17 to two counts of attempted sale of LSD. He had originally been charged with three counts each of sale and delivery of the drug and was facing eight years in prison.

Davis asked for a sentencing hearing to allow a judge to determine the manner in how that sentence would be served. Options were serving the eight-year sentence, serving a period of time and then being released on supervised probation, or being placed on probation for eight years.

Davis’ attorney, Christian Lanier, argued before Judge Gary McKenzie that Davis had changed his life and had not been charged since that transformation. He said Davis was a victim of “outside influences” and had “stopped that behavior.”

Lanier added that Davis’ arrest came at a youthful age and that Davis had experienced “dramatic growth” and maturity since that time.

Assistant District Attorney Mark Gore argued that Davis needed to serve the eight-year sentence because he sold $200 worth of LSD strips — a drug not commonly found in the area — and had been caught selling on three occasions.

Tennessee Department of Probation and Parole Officer Christopher Goddard testified that between 2015 and 2019, Davis was arrested on the LSD and simple possession of marijuana charges. A probation violation warrant was issued in 2016 after Davis failed to report to the probation officer.

Davis served 60 days in jail on weekends for that technical violation, and his probation was extended 11 months and 29 days. In April of 2017, Davis had a positive drug screen, Goddard testified.

Crossville Police Det. Kenneth Cherry testified a confidential source — being monitored by police — traveled to the home of Davis’ brother. Davis had said LSD strips were being sent to his brother by someone connected with The Grateful Dead rock group.

McKenzie noted that serving 60 days in jail apparently did not get Davis’ attention. The judge added he was uncertain the system had yet gotten Davis’ attention.

He then ordered Davis to serve one year with release into house arrest of community corrections after that time is served.

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