A Cumberland County man with an extensive criminal record who pleaded guilty to three counts of introducing contraband into a penal institution was denied probation or a split sentence and will serve his eight-year prison sentence.

Thomas Hugh Young II, 41, pleaded guilty in March and appeared for a sentencing hearing last week. He had agreed to the eight-year sentence, and the hearing was held for the purpose of determining how that sentence would be served.

Two of the charges stem from Young asking his girlfriend over the jail phone to send him suboxone.

Defense attorney Randall Boston argued that his client should be given consideration for a split sentence because he has already served 476 days in jail and because he was optimistic that his client really wanted to change his life.

He also told the judge that Young had not picked up new charges since being out on bond.

Tennessee Board of Pardon and Parole Probation Officer Christopher Goddard testified about Young’s lengthy criminal record and the charges that he was caught with Suboxone in the jail.

Young’s criminal record includes 22 prior offenses that range from a domestic assault that led to him fleeing from police and crashing his vehicle into a state trooper’s car, to assault on a corrections officer and probation violations.

Young has been charged with crimes in Anderson, Cumberland and Morgan counties. Also included in his past record were three violations of community corrections and 15 probation violations.

Young’s mother, Glenda Young, testified that her son was born with lung issues and suffered back problems which resulted in his past conduct. She remains optimistic for his future and that her son’s criminal activity is behind him.

Boston argued that his client has served a lot of time and, admittedly, does not have the best criminal record. 

“But, what do we do with him?” Boston asked. Young not getting into additional trouble should be considered, he said.

Young made an elocution statement which is not subject to cross examination. The judge can place whatever consideration he wishes into the statement.

Young told the court that for ten years he committed no crimes. Concerning the phone call to his girlfriend from the jail, Young said, “I really didn’t think she would send it to me.”

He said that after lung surgery, he was taking 180 “roxies” a month. Today, he said, he is almost weaned off suboxone.

Assistant District Attorney Mark Gore told the court that Young has “shown himself to be a menace to society and existential threat to the community.”

“It (the sentence) should be a deterrent to others,” Criminal Court Judge Gary McKenzie said, adding that Young’s actions were dangerous. “He created an unsafe environment for corrections officers and for other inmates.”

He then denied any alternative sentence and ordered the eight years be served.