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Guilty pleas help speed up court

Guilty pleas in a number of cases are keeping the Lincoln Countycircuit court docket moving at a good pace, court officialssaid.

Circuit Clerk Terry Lynn Watkins said trials had been scheduled,but those were aborted when defendants elected to plead guiltyduring Judge Keith Starrett’s term.

“We’ve had relatively easy weeks,” Watkins said about recentcourt activity.

Court action is about to pick up as a new grand jury sessionstarts next week. That will be followed by Judge Mike Smith’s courtterm.

“We’ve still got several weeks to go through,” Watkins said.

After court, Watkins said circuit clerk’s officials will beworking with political parties toward getting ballots printed andready for elections later this year.

“The first three months of the year in circuit clerk’s officehave been very busy,” Watkins said.

In recent court sentencing, defendants and their chargesincluded:

* Dale Pendleton, 23, of 1022 Highway 550 — uttering forgeryand conspiracy. He was sentenced to four years, suspended for fiveyears probation, and ordered to pay a $500 fine, $500 to the crimevictims compensation fund and to obtain his GED.

* Jennifer Leigh Smith, 19, of Northaven Apartments — grandlarceny. She was sentenced to four years but placed in theIntensive Supervision Program (house arrest) to earn probation. Shewas also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.

* Rashand Smith and Rashad Smith, 17, of 1539 Crump Lane –grand larceny and conspiracy. The twins were sentenced to fouryears and placed in the Regimented Inmate Discipline (RID) to earnprobation. They were also ordered to pay $1,000 fines and $900restitution.

* Sandra Denise White, 31, of 422 North Seventh St. — felonybad checks. She was sentenced to three years, suspended for threeyears probation. She was also ordered to pay a $500 fine and $2,057restitution.

* Timothy Ray Dunn, 21, of 2157 Jackson-Liberty Road — burglaryof an automobile. He was sentenced to four years and placed in RIDto earn probation. He was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine andfull restitution to the victim.

* Kerry Sanders, 28, of 907 Ole Brook Road — simple domesticviolence. He was sentenced to one year in the county jail,suspended for two years good behavior probation. He was alsoordered to obtain anger management counseling and to pay a $500fine and a total of $1,957 in restitution.

* Ronny Thompson, 42, of Gleason Loop — four counts of simpleassault. He was ordered to serve the first 22 months of a total oftwo-year sentence, with the last two months suspended. He was alsoordered to obtain alcohol and drug treatment and anger managementcounseling and to pay a $500 fine and $135 restitution.

* Robert Criswell, 19, of Magnolia — conspiracy to possessanhydrous ammonia with intent to manufacture a controlledsubstance. He was ordered to serve the first two years of afive-year sentence, with the last three suspended for five yearsprobation, and to pay a $4,000 fine.

* Jack Jay Fortenberry Jr, 20, of 204 High St., McComb –conspiracy to possess anhydrous ammonia with intent to manufacturea controlled substance. He was ordered to serve the first two yearsof a five-year sentence, with the last three suspended for fiveyears probation, to pay a $4,000 fine, and to obtain his GED.

* Steven Kyle Walley, 21, of 1538 Walley Lane — burglary of anautomobile. He was ordered to serve two years of a four-yearsentence, with the remaining two on post release supervision. Hewas also ordered to obtain alcohol and drug treatment and to payfull restitution and a $1,000 fine.

* Samuel Albine, 21, of 620 Carmichael Street, Wesson –burglary of a dwelling and possession of a firearm by a convictedfelon. He was ordered to serve the first three years of a totalseven-year sentence, with the last four to be served on postrelease supervision. He was also ordered to obtain alcohol and drugtreatment and to pay full restitution.

* Harrison Thomas Arnold, 36, of 1051 Eagle Trail — felony badchecks. He was sentenced to three years, to be served on postrelease supervision, with the sentence running consecutively tothose in two other cases. He was also ordered to pay a $500 fineand $5,292 restitution.

* Wanda A. Chancellor, 42, of 133 Lynn Ave., Jackson — burglaryof an automobile, grand larceny and conspiracy. She was sentencedto four years on each count and placed in ISP (house arrest) toearn probation, with the sentence running concurrently with onefrom Adams County. She was also ordered to pay a $1,000 and a totalof $4,576 in restitution.

* Alvin Sanders, 26, of Ole Brook Road — possession ofmarijuana and cocaine and conspiracy. He was sentenced to a totalof five years. He was also ordered to obtain alcohol and drugtreatment and his GED and to pay a $4,000 fine and $100restitution.