published Friday, August 30th, 2013

Man sent to workhouse in assault on two Chattanooga police officers

A man received five days at the workhouse after assaulting two Chattanooga police officers.

Jess Brandon Osborne, 39, was arrested in December at the Outback Steakhouse on Hamilton Place Boulevard after he slapped Officer Ronald Zirk's hands away and struck him in the face.

He kicked another officer, Sgt. Mark Haskins, in the ankle.

Osborne reportedly became disruptive at a party where his ex-girlfriend was, according to the report. He sustained injuries to his forehead during the scuffle to get him into custody.

All five charges that he faced were misdemeanors -- two counts of assault, public intoxication, disorderly conduct and possession of a prescription pill which authorities later learned he had a prescription for.

He pleaded guilty to the assault charges in Hamilton County Criminal Court before Judge Rebecca Stern on Wednesday.

Haskins was outraged that Osborne received no jail time.

"Basically, he was slapped on the wrist with five days of community service. Even if he did 10, 20 days, that would be something. This is ridiculous" he said.

In Tennessee, first-time offenders are often granted judicial diversion. Tennessee also has laws on the books that encourage alternative sentencing. Someone has to receive three felony convictions before receiving harsher sentences, according to prosecutors.

In Osborne's case, he had no prior record.

"The plea of guilt was entered after reviewing all facts, evidence and law applicable to the case. The sentence imposed on these misdemeanors was commensurate with Tennessee sentencing law for a defendant with no prior criminal record," said Hamilton County Assistant District Attorney Neal Pinkston in a released statement.

Osborne also was ordered to undergo alcohol and drug treatment. He also will be placed on unsupervised probation for a year.

Contact staff writer Beth Burger at bburger@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6406. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/abburger.

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