A 31-year-old Chattanooga man was sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison Monday for crack cocaine sales.
Brandon "Lil B" Morris stood next to his lawyer at the podium and told the judge he took responsibility for the crime and asked that the judge make sure it wouldn't happen again.
He then turned to his family, seated along the back row of the courtroom, and apologized.
"Man, it feels so good to see y'all. Sorry for the inconvenience I put you through," he said.
Morris faced between five years and seven years and three months, based on the charge of conspiracy to sell crack cocaine, to which he and co-defendant Michael "Mikey" Evans pleaded guilty.
Evans received seven years for his role in the crime.
A nine-count indictment detailed multiple incidents in which the pair sold crack between March 2012 and June 2012. All other charges were dismissed by prosecutors as part of the plea deal.
U.S. District Judge Harry S. "Sandy" Mattice sentenced Morris to the maximum amount because the defendant had nine domestic assault convictions on his record.
"That is very, very disturbing to me," Mattice told Russell Leonard, Morris' attorney.
Leonard argued that all of the assaults involved one woman and his client had not had any similar charges for three years, since he was no longer involved with the woman.
But prosecutor Chris Poole argued that the number of assault convictions posed a danger to the public and warranted the maximum sentence.
Contact staff writer Todd South at tsouth@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6347. Follow him on Twitter @tsouthCTFP
Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...