Defendants take reduced charges

Published 5:00 am Thursday, June 6, 2002

Several defendants facing felony charges were sentenced earlierthis week after pleading guilty to reduced misdemeanor offenses,according to Lincoln County Circuit Court records.

Two defendants indicted on aggravated assault charges followinga March 15 incident in the Lincoln County Jail pleaded guilty tosimple assault and received suspended sentences. Lateef Murray, 19,of 1063 Union St., and James R. Durr, 25, of 1663 Hunters Road,Bogue Chitto, were sentenced to six months suspended for two yearsgood behavior probation and ordered to pay full restitution toMedicaid.

Investigator Lance Falvey said the incident began when ThomasStockton, 38, of 1099 Ed Thomas Road, was allegedly causing adisturbance with other people in a jail holding cell.

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Stockton was in jail on a DUI charge while Murray was there on acharge of selling cocaine, and Durr on a city charge, Falvey said.A court hearing for Murray on the cocaine charge is scheduled forFriday.

The situation escalated beyond a disturbance and resulted inStockton receiving several facial injuries, Falvey said. However,since the altercation, authorities have had limited contact withthe victim.

“It’s an appropriate charge when you consider all the facts andcircumstances surrounding the incident,” Falvey said of themisdemeanor simple assault charges.

In other sentencing, a Houston, Texas, man was ordered to servethe first two weeks of a 10-year sentence for unlawful possessionof marijuana. However, the man is facing additional jail time inhis home state.

Isaac Johnson, 33, of 7302 Gore Dr., was also ordered to pay a$14,500 fine, which he has done, court officials said.

Officials added that Johnson’s probation from a burglary-relatedcharge in Texas is expected to be revoked. The amount of jail timehe will serve in Texas was not known.

Others sentenced and their charges include:

* Ryan Bardwell, 21, of 875 William Blvd., Ridgeland — unlawfulpossession of methamphetamine and conspiracy. Under anon-adjudication statute, acceptance of his plea was withheld andBardwell was ordered to pay a $1,500 fine, pay restitution and wasplaced in drug court.

* Heath Smith, 27, of Prentiss — indicted on a grand larcenycharge but pleaded to petty larceny. He was sentenced to 90 days injail suspended for two years good behavior probation and ordered topay a $500 fine and $600 restitution.

* Nathan Williams, 39, of 1024 Forest Road — indicted on afelony bad check charge but pleaded guilty to misdemeanor badcheck. He was sentenced to six months suspended for two years goodbehavior probation, ordered to pay a $100 and make full restitutionfor the bad checks.