Ex-band director given 40 years in prison to keep him away from young girls

Ex-band director given 40 years in prison to keep him away from young girls

September 16th, 2015 by Evan Hoopfer in Local Regional News

Thomas Harold Blevins, who was found guilty of child molestation in an incident that occurred when he was band director at Lakeview Middle School, was sentenced to 40 years in prison and 10 additional years on probation Tuesday in Catoosa County Superior Court.

Blevins was found guilty in August and sentenced Tuesday on a total of five counts — four counts of child molestation and one count of enticing a child for indecent purposes. The charges came from an incident on Dec. 23, 2010, when he told a then-14-year-old to come to his band room while school was on winter break. He molested her, a jury found, but Blevins remained in the school until his resignation on Dec. 4, 2012, when authorities arrested him on charges of child molestation.

Thomas Blevins, a former Lakeview Middle School band teacher, accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student, leaves the Catoosa County Courthouse on Aug. 10, 2015, after an all-day jury selection ended.

Thomas Blevins, a former Lakeview Middle School band...

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

One of the charges he was found not guilty of in August was aggravated child molestation, considered one of Georgia's "Seven Deadly Sins," which would have brought a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. There also was a second girl who testified that Blevins molested her, but he was found not guilty on all counts concerning the second victim.

"The intent of this sentence is to segregate you, keep you away from young girls," Judge Jon "Bo" Wood told Blevins during the hearing.

Blevins' attorney Chris Townley said he will be eligible for parole at some point. The court clerk said it's not known at this time when that will be.

Townley also said he would file a motion for a new trial. When the hearing was finished, Blevins, who was handcuffed, shook the hands of both of his attorneys and was escorted out of the courtroom by sheriff's deputies.

Contact staff writer Evan Hoopfer at ehoopfer@timesfreepress.com or @EvanHoopfer on Twitter or 423-757-6731.