'Man sentenced to 32 years' and other news from Chattanooga courts

'Man sentenced to 32 years' and other news from Chattanooga courts

February 26th, 2013 by Todd South in Local Regional News

Antonio Wynn

Antonio Wynn

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Man sentenced to 32 years

A 20-year-old Chattanooga man was sentenced Monday to 32 years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to robbing two local businesses last year.

Antonio Wynn told U.S. District Judge Harry S. "Sandy" Mattice that he would try to get an education while in prison. The judge reminded him that he could have a life after serving his time.

"This is a sad day," Mattice said. "When you get out of prison, you'll still be a somewhat younger man than I am today.

"Thirty-two years," Mattice said. "It's longer than you've lived."

Wynn confessed and pleaded guilty to the Aug. 9-10 robberies as did his co-defendant Jamareus Benford, 19.

The armed robberies of businesses involved with interstate commerce carry mandatory minimum sentences. Benford faces sentencing March 4.

The pair first robbed Quick Loans at 6215 Lee Highway for $1,700 on Aug. 9. The next day they were caught by a Chattanooga police officer after robbing the Family Dollar at 7307 Lee Highway while wearing masks.

They got $720 in that robbery.

Ex-postal worker sentenced

A 53-year-old former postal worker was sentenced Monday to three years probation and a $10,000 fine for stealing pain medications from a military veteran on his postal route near Petersburg, Tenn.

Court documents showed the medications went undelivered over the course of three years. Michael Murdock pleaded guilty to the crime in November.

Murdock's attorney, Brentwood-based Wesley Southerland, told the judge that his client had back injuries and surgery in the mid-90s that gave him considerable pain and that he later became addicted to pain pills.

"From the beginning he was a very embarrassed man, a very ashamed man, a very remorseful man," Southerland said. "These activities were certainly out of character for who this man was."

U.S. District Judge Harry S. "Sandy" Mattice noted the 16 family and friends in the courtroom on behalf of Murdock but pointed to that support a place he could have turned.

"You didn't have to resort to criminal activity, did you?" Mattice asked Murdock.

"No, sir," Murdock replied.

Police investigators treated packages intended for Liggie Arthur Phelps with a chemical visible under certain lighting and used that method to trace stolen packages of medication to Murdock's home.

Homicide charges dropped

Marcus Alexander Boston

Marcus Alexander Boston

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Prosecutors dropped homicide charges against a 27-year-old Chattanooga man when a key witness failed to appear at multiple hearings.

Marcus Boston faced charges he shot and killed Quincy Bell, 20, while the victim drove his Toyota Camry on the 3800 block of Wilcox Boulevard on Sept. 22.

Boston's cousin, Jessica Little, told police in December that she was with Boston the night of the shooting and that he told her he killed Bell.

She said Boston killed Bell over $700 he said Bell stole from him in a drug deal.

But Little has not come to court, despite subpoenas by prosecutors Neal Pinkston and Bret Alexander.

Both declined to comment on the case.

State law does not allow police to bring witnesses to Tennessee from other states in cases in General Sessions Court.

The court is not a "court of record." It is where a judge hears evidence of probable cause before deciding whether to send cases to the grand jury for possible indictment.

Man sentenced in meth case

The final co-defendant in a methamphetamine ring was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison Monday.

U.S. District Judge Harry S. "Sandy" Mattice sentenced Tony Wilcox to the bottom of the range of a 10 to 13 year sentence for cooking methamphetamine with eight others.

Prosecutors alleged that Wilcox and the rest of the co-defendants made meth and possessed meth-making materials from August 2008 until February 2011.

All nine people in the meth conspiracy pleaded guilty to their charges between November 2011 and November 2012.

The following co-defendants were sentenced to their corresponding ranges:

Jim Alan Morris -- 12 years; William Hodges -- 20 years; Brian Steele -- 13 years; Toni Lee -- 12 years; Jeremy Stevens -- seven years; Angela Gordon -- 12 years; Diana Shaw -- 10 years; Tony Meeks -- 18 years.

Trial date set in child's death

A Marion County, Tenn., couple charged with negligent homicide in the 2010 accidental shooting death of their 2-year-old daughter by her 5-year-old stepbrother now have a new trial date.

Samantha, 28, and Thomas Wallace, 25, had asked Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern for an earlier trial date in March, but other already-scheduled trials took priority.

The couple will face trial June 4.

On July 12, 2010, Camron Wallace was shot in the chest with her father's .45-caliber pistol by her 5-year-old stepbrother.

Samantha's attorney, Dan Ripper, has said previously that the couple has suffered enough.

After a January 2012 hearing, Ripper told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that "What happened here was an accident between one young child and another young child. Neither parent believes the other parent did anything wrong."