By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — State Rep. Curry Todd pleaded guilty Friday to drunken driving and gun charges and was sentenced to 48 hours in jail and the loss of his firearm for a year.
The Collierville Republican was arrested in October 2011 in Nashville after failing a roadside sobriety test. A loaded .38-caliber gun was found stuffed between the driver’s seat and center console.
Todd, who is best known for sponsoring a law that allows people with handgun carry permits to be armed in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, told reporters after the court hearing that he has no plans to resign.
“I’ve always found that we’re molded and shaped by experiences in life, both good and bad,” Todd said. “And it’s my intention to use this experience over the last 15 months to become a more knowledgeable and effective representative of the people of this state.”
The chief of staff to Knox County Trustee John Duncan III and his office attorney pleaded guilty this morning in Criminal Court to facilitation of official misconduct, reports the News Sentinel Joshua A. Burnett, 32, and attorney Chadwick B. Tindell, 48, were both sentenced to 11 months, 29 days probation on the misdemeanor charge by Criminal Court Judge Mary Beth Liebowitz.
Both will be eligible for judicial diversion.
Duncan’s status was not immediately available. His attorney, Jeff Hagood, was out of town and said he could not comment.
Burnett and Tindell both resigned from the Trustee’s Office, according to a statement this afternoon from Duncan.
Bill Curtis will become the office’s chief deputy, and resumes will be sought for the delinquent tax attorney position, according to the statement. Tindell will assist with pending matters.
Appearing with his attorney Tommy Hindman, Burnett agreed to cooperate in “any way requested” by prosecutors.
Hindman said the plea is connected to bonuses handed out by Duncan three months after he took office in September 2010.
It’s “a very unfortunate circumstance” and “he took some very bad advice,” Hindman said.
“He is pleased to have this matter concluded and looks forward to the opportunity to move on with his life.”
A Rhea County Circuit Court jury on Tuesday evening found former state Rep. Jim Cobb, R-Spring City, not guilty of assaulting a woman in a wheelchair who supported Cobb’s opponent in the Aug. 2 primary election, reports the Chattanooga TFP. “The verdict speaks for itself,” said Cobb, who previously dismissed the misdemeanor assault charge as “politically motivated.”
The decision came at 6:40 p.m. after about an hour’s deliberation at the historic Rhea County Courthouse in downtown Dayton, Tenn. Cobb turned himself in to the county jail on Oct. 3 after a grand jury indicted him.
According to a Rhea County Sheriff’s Office report, Goins was sitting in her wheelchair at Frazier Elementary School in Dayton, campaigning for Cobb’s opponent, Ron Travis, when Cobb got out of his pickup truck and attempted to knock down a Travis sign.
Goins feared “imminent bodily injury,” the report stated, and thought Cobb was going to hit her after he raised his hand. Cobb, meanwhile, said there was no contact and not even harsh words directed toward Goins.
A Tennessee state employee charged with giving licenses to unqualified applicants pleaded guilty today to federal bribery counts in federal district court in Nashville, reports The Tennessean. The defendant, Larry Murphy, 54, who worked for the Department of Safety, had been accused of issuing state drivers licenses in exchange for more than $5,000 in bribes over five months ending in April.
U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp told Murphy, of Antioch, that he faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a $250,000 fine.
In April, federal prosecutors filed a complaint against Murphy after an investigation found that he was connected to a person suspected of selling identification documents to undocumented immigrants.
According to the complaint, when an undercover FBI agent sought from Murphy a commercial driving license without a Social Security number, Murphy made one up.
Murphy also fabricated the agent’s medical certification by altering information from another applicant, according to the complaint.
The undercover agent paid Murphy $3,500 through a third party.
The son of a dairy executive who lost a race for Congress has pleaded guilty to slashing a tire stem on a car belonging to the incumbent congressman’s campaign manager during a campaign stop last spring, reports the News Sentinel. Michael Mayfield, son of Scottie Mayfield, entered his plea to misdemeanor vandalism this week in Roane County General Sessions Court.
The younger Mayfield, 34, admitted slashing the stem on the rear left tire of Tyler Threadgill’s 2005 Audi during an April 24 Scottie Mayfield campaign stop at the Roane County Courthouse.
Threadgill, manager of 3rd District congressman Chuck Fleischmann’s re-election effort, had attended several of Mayfield’s campaign events.
On Monday, Michael Mayfield received a suspended 11-month, 29-day jail sentence, was granted judicial diversion and was placed on unsupervised probation.
Prosecutor Bill Reedy said that if Mayfield completes probation “on good behavior,” Mayfield can petition the court to expunge the charge from his record.
Mayfield was ordered to make $100 restitution. That sum was “an arbitrary amount we just pulled out of the air,” Reedy said. He said Threadgill wasn’t able to give a specific damage amount for the tire stem. “It wasn’t a big deal to him (Threadgill),” Reedy said.
With court costs, Mayfield will pay around $500, Reedy said.
News release from Davidson County District Attorney’s office:
Former Hawkins County Judge James F. Taylor today pled guilty to stealing from the Administrative Office of the Courts, by creating forged documents to support false billings for legal work that he did not perform.
The AOC disburses payments from the indigent defense fund to private attorneys who are appointed to represent indigent defendants in criminal cases. Taylor entered guilty pleas under a plea agreement to six counts of felony theft.
As part of that plea, Taylor accepted a 13-year sentence. Three years of that is to be served with 30% parole eligibility at a CCA facility. The remaining 10 years will be on probation. He is also ordered to make restitution to the AOC in the amount of $32,757, to be paid in monthly installments. The plea also dictates that Taylor will enter an order of disbarment, and he cannot apply for reinstatement of his law license until October, 2025, at the earliest.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State Rep. Curry Todd is pleading not guilty to drunken driving and gun charges.
The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/Ov70Ck ) reports that attorney Worrick Robinson entered the plea on behalf of Todd, who did not attend the hearing in Nashville on Friday.
The Collierville Republican was arrested in October after failing a roadside sobriety test. A loaded .38-caliber gun was found stuffed between the driver’s seat and center console. Todd faces charges of drunken driving, possession of a firearm while under the influence and violating the state’s implied consent law for refusing a breath alcohol test.
Todd was a main sponsor of a state law allowing handgun carry permit holders to bring firearms into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. It’s unclear where Todd was coming from at the time of his arrest.
Further, from The Tennessean: “I’ll be speaking with the district attorney’s office,” Robinson said. “We’ll be seeing if there’s any way we can find some common ground to see if we can settle this matter.”
…The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security has said that Todd can keep his handgun carry permit, though it could be suspended for a year if he is convicted of the DUI charge.
In April, Todd announced that he had been diagnosed with a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee man pleaded guilty Tuesday to making threats in profanity-laced voice mails left at U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office.
Glendon Swift, 64, of Lenoir City pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening a family member of a federal official. In return, prosecutors said they would recommend a 13-month sentence. Swift could have faced a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 4. Swift’s attorney, federal public defender Jonathan Moffatt, declined comment.
An FBI affidavit shows the 64-year-old Swift left two messages at the Republican leader’s suburban Richmond office on Oct. 27, threatening to “destroy” the congressman, making derogatory references to Cantor being Jewish and making threats against family members. The calls were traced to Swift’s cellphone.
In one of the calls, Swift said, “How about if I rape your daughter? How about that, if I come into your house and kill your wife?”
Swift admitted to the FBI that he made the calls to the six-term Republican, saying he “got drunk the other night and started cussing people out.” He said he did not remember threatening the congressman’s family, however.
From the News Sentinel:
A Lenoir City man has struck a deal to plead guilty to telephoning threats to a Virginia congressman’s family.
According to court documents, Glendon Swift, 62, has admitted that he left two anonymous telephone messages at the office of U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va) in October, and said he was drunk when he did so. Swift was ordered detained Friday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Clifford Shirley pending a Dec. 20 hearing at which he is expected to plead guilty to one count of threatening a federal official’s family.
The plea deal calls for a 13-month prison term. But U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan must approve it at an April 4 sentencing.
When FBI agents from the Richmond, Va., field office first questioned Swift about the calls, he readily admitted he had made them, court documents state.
Swift “immediately responded that he was aware of why the agents were there and stated that he ‘got drunk the other night and started cussing people out,’ ” a court document states.
Swift, after consulting with an attorney, has signed a plea agreement. He has also agreed to have the case handled in Knoxville instead of Virginia.
The calls were made on Swift’s cellphone. They were “laden with the screaming and ranting of profanities,” and made derogatory references to the fact that Cantor is Jewish.
In one of the calls, Swift says: “How about if I rape your daughter? How about that, if I come into your house and kill your wife.”
Available court documents do not indicate Swift’s motive in making the call.
Former Dyer County Sheriff Tommy Cribbs is awaiting sentencing by a federal judge after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors last month on federal gun charges, reports the Dyersburg State Gazette. According to court records, Cribbs was charged with numerous counts of unlawful transport of firearms on or about June 18 and June 21, 2011. The plea agreement, filed in open court in Memphis in front of Chief Judge Jon Phipps McCalla, states Cribbs will plead guilty to one count of unlawful transport of firearms and three other counts of the same will be dismissed at sentencing.
He will also not be prosecuted in state court in Dyer County for the arson charge that alleges he burned down a house located at 1035 Newbern-RoEllen Road on Feb. 26, 2011. A Dyer County Grand Jury handed down an indictment on this charge in June.
Also, Cribbs was indicted on a charge of attempted arson stemming from the same residence.