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Defendants learn lessons the hard way

A busy day in Lincoln County Circuit Court Friday saw more than30 people sentenced, with disrespectful defendants getting stifferpenalties from Judge Mike Smith.

Defendants’ demeanor factored heavily in some sentences as thejudge considered their behavior in court and their level ofcooperation with law enforcement authorities. Defendants weresentenced after pleading guilty to their crimes earlier in thecourt term.

Smith sentenced Albert C. Cole, 25, of Lottie St., to a total of20 years in prison after learning the Cole reportedly uttered anobscenity and told a Mississippi Department of Corrections officerto “do what he had to do” during a pre-sentencinginvestigation.

“I’m going to what I got to do,” Smith said as he commented onCole’s criminal history and other behavior while incarcerated.

During the judge’s speech, Cole attempted to withdraw his guiltyplea, but Smith quickly rejected that motion.

“I’m not going to stand for that kind of dealing,” Smithsaid.

Cole was ordered to serve 20 years of a total 34-year sentenceon two counts of unlawful sale of cocaine, one count of unlawfulpossession of cocaine and unlawful use of a motor vehicle. He wasalso ordered to pay a total of $15,000 in fines and $274 inrestitution.

Following sentencing, Cole became rowdy and had to be subdued byofficers as he was led from the courtroom and back to jail.

In another case, a defendant’s alleged “crack head” threat to ajailer and his “smart mouth” cost him more time in prison.

Sam Catchings, 34, of 115 Hartman St., was ordered to serve 10years of a total 20-year sentence on burglary of a dwelling andconspiracy charges. He was also to pay a $5,000 fine and $400 inrestitution.

“Your actions show you haven’t accepted anything, and you don’twant to change,” Smith said as Catchings tried to plead hiscase.

Lekesha Redd, 24, of 1265 Field Lark Lane, a co-defendant in theCatchings case, was ordered to serve six years of a total 15-yearsentence and to pay a $2,500 fine and $400 restitution.

Written sentencing orders for Cole, Catchings and a Ruth couplesentenced to prison earlier on child exploitation charges wereprepared so the defendants could be removed promptly from thecounty jail.

Several other defendants who were uncooperative with lawenforcement officials also suffered the judge’s wrath.

“When these officers tell you something, it’s like me tellingyou something,” Smith said several times Friday.

In other sentencing, Elizabeth King, 17 , of 105 Railroad St.,received four years of a total 10-year prison sentence on threeseparate indictments: two burglary charges, a grand larceny chargeand two counts of conspiracy. The last six years of the sentencewere to be served under post release supervision and the girl wasalso to pay $1,500 in fines plus restitution.

“Next time I see you in here, I’m going to max you out period,”Smith told King.

Co-defendants in a burglary of an automobile and conspiracy casereceived different sentences because of one of them gave a “smartlook” as the victim spoke about the crime. James Searcy, 18, of2438 Ellis Road, apologized for his expression, but the judge wasnot satisfied.

“If looks could kill, she’d be dead as a hammer,” Smithsaid.

Searcy was ordered to serve three years of a total five-yearsentence, with the remainder on five years probation. He was alsoto pay a $3,000 fine and half of a total $1,506 in restitution.

The co-defendant, Andrew Graham Jr., 19, of 306 Adams St.,received the same sentence, but he was given the opportunity toearn probation through the Regimented Inmate Disciplineprogram.

In a similar case, Lonnie Brown, 17, of Roxie, was ordered toserve two years of a total 15-year sentence for robbery andconspiracy. Smith mentioned that Brown reportedly shoved a jailerwhile awaiting sentencing.

“You don’t shove folks who work for me,” Smith said.

Raymond Byrd, 18, of Nola Road, a co-defendant in the case,received an eight-year sentence, but was given the opportunity toearn probation through RID. Brown and Byrd were both ordered to pay$3,000 fines and half of $58 in restitution.

James Earl Young, Jr., 21, of 1062 Daniels Lane, Hazlehurst,pleaded guilty to four counts of armed robbery Friday and, despitehis attorney’s efforts to delay it, was sentenced.

Young and co-defendant Ricky Jones, 20, also of Hazlehurst, wereordered to serve the first 20 years of a 35-year sentence. Theywere also ordered to pay $4,000 fines and over $3,000 inrestitution.

In other court action Friday, defendants, their crimes andsentences included:

* Carmela Cameron, 37, of 486 Imperial Lane, Bogue Chitto -grand larceny – sentenced to three years, but placed in theIntensive Supervision, or “house arrest,” Program (ISP) to earnprobation, a $1,000 fine and to perform 300 community service workhours.

* Nathan Schoonover, 23, of 2801 Loyd Star Lane – vandalism ofpublic buildings and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle – sentencedto serve first six years of a total 10-year sentence, a $1,000 fineand to stay outside the state during remaining four years of postrelease supervision.

* Robert Earl Lyons, 31, of 258 Poplar St. – armed robbery -ordered to serve first 10 years of a 20-year sentence, withremainder on post release supervision, and to pay a $4,000 fine. Healso ordered to stay out of the victim’s businesses after hisrelease from prison.

* Robert Lee Bice, 19, of McComb – four counts of felony badcheck and three counts of misdemeanor bad check – sentenced to atotal of three years, suspended for five years probation, and sentto the restitution center until all bad checks are paid. He wasalso to pay a $500 fine.

* Hyman Sterling, 18, of 919 Bogue Chitto Road – burglary of adwelling – ordered to serve the first four years of a 10-yearsentence, with the remainder suspended for five years probation. Hewas also to pay a $2,500 fine and $155 restitution.

* Sanetra R. Mack, 24, of 300 Old Wesson Road – two counts offelony shoplifting and conspiracy – sentenced to three years oneach counts and placed in ISP. She was also ordered to pay a $1,000fine, $1,000 to the crime victims compensation fund and $1,384 inrestitution.

* Weldon Foxworth, 21, of 2862 Nola Road – unlawful sale ofmarijuana – sentenced to two years in prison, to be servedconsecutively to his probation revocation from drug court. He wasalso to pay a $3,000 fine, $170 restitution and $2,000 to the crimevictims compensation fund.

* Robert Jackson, 38, of 1641 New Sight Road – unlawful sale ofcocaine – ordered to serve six years of a 12-year sentence, withremainder on post release supervision, a $5,000 fine and $270restitution.

* Dwayne C. Evans, 40, of New Orleans – attempted escape -sentenced to three years, to be served with a 25-year burglarysentence from Lawrence County, to pay a $1,000 fine and $951restitution for damage to a Lincoln County jail window.

* Sylvester Williams, 26, of 622 North Sixth St. – burglary of adwelling, but reduced to misdemeanor trespassing – sentenced sixmonths in county jail, suspended for two years probation, to pay a$200 fine and $200 restitution.

* Eric Damon Howard – 25, of 5840 Ridgewood Road, Jackson -embezzlement under contract and false personation – sentenced to atotal of two years, suspended for five years probation, to pay a$1,000 fine and $500 to the crime victims compensation fund.

* Michael King, 25, of 102 Railroad St. – grand larceny andconspiracy – ordered to serve four years of a total 10-yearsentence, with remainder on post release supervision, to pay a$2,000 fine and restitution.

* Thomas Stevens Perkins, 22, of Brandon, and Michael BlakeSebren, 23, of Pearl – theft of anhydrous ammonia and conspiracy -sentenced to serve first year of a total five-year sentence, withremainder on five years probation, and to pay $5,000 fines.

* Robert Jones 24, of 2785 Old Highway 51, Wesson – unlawfulpossession of cocaine – sentenced to three years, suspended forfive years probation, to pay a $500 fine, $25 restitution and toperform 200 hours of community service work.

* Linda Lee Washington, 44, of 106 Dayberry St. – utteringforged prescription – sentenced to three years and ordered to getpsychiatric treatment while incarcerated.

In cases where defendants admitted drug problems, Smith orderedthem to get drug and alcohol treatment and to attend meetings for ayear following their release from custody. Also, defendants whohave not completed high school were ordered to get their GeneralEducation Diploma.

Smith retained jurisdiction in cases involving first-timeoffenders. Provided they meet conditions of their sentences withina year, the judge said their records could be cleared.