Sentences were passed last week on two Marshall County residents who had been found guilty of crimes - one in a jury trial, the other in a bench trial.
A jury found Tommy Lemont Wray, 41, of Chapel Hill guilty of the felony offences of aggravated burglary and sexual battery, and the misdemeanor offence of criminal attempted sexual battery. In an incident which happened in October last year, Wray was accused of entering a home where a 13-year-old girl was alone, and of making inappropriate remarks and gestures, including exposing himself to her.
Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler sentenced Wray to serve five years for the aggravated burglary, followed by 18 months for the sexual battery, with the Tennessee Department of Corrections, and 11 months 29 days in the county jail for the misdemeanor. Wray has already spent 218 days in jail. Serving the TDOC sentences at 30 percent, he could be eligible for release in the fall of 2011.
"I did a terrible thing," Wray is quoted as saying in the pre-sentencing report. "I disrespected a young lady...for what reason or cause I have no idea. Pure ignorance or stupidity. If incarceration is to come, then let it be."
Also in the report prepared by Jim Grimes is a statement from the victim's mother. She describes her daughter as "fearful and depressed," and says she is "seeing a therapist at Centerstone."
The mother goes on to say, "I have really blamed myself for this; it was my job to protect her and I wasn't there. I was a victim of molestation as a child and I raised my kids to be aware of the signs and then it happened anyway!"
Holly Lynn Perryman, 25, of Lewisburg, had a bench trial, at the end of which Judge Crigler found her guilty of possession with intent to sell and deliver a Schedule II drug (cocaine), and also possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
Perryman was sentenced to 15 years on the drug charges and five years on the weapons charge, plus a $2,000 fine. She is to serve a minimum of 35 percent of the total of 20 years; in other words, seven years to be spent with the TDOC.
Perryman's pre-sentencing report states that her problems with the authorities started when she was just 12 years old and appeared in juvenile court, accused of accepting and consuming a drug at school. Almost every year since then she has had some brush with the law: "unruly" and "delinquent" behavior at school, traffic offences, underage drinking and public intoxication. In 2003 a jury found her guilty of criminal responsibility for the facilitation of a felony (armed robbery), and in 2004 she was found guilty of aggravated perjury and theft under $500.
"I have been told since I was little that something was wrong with me," Perryman is quoted as saying. "I smoked marijuana and ate pills. That is all I did," she is reported to have said of her lifestyle.
In a statement she begged the court for mercy. "I am a single mother of two lovely little boys who need me. I don't want them growing up ...with no momma...I'm willing to go to long-term rehab. I want help."
Since Perryman is a "Range II multiple offender, convicted of a Class B felony," however, Crigler had no alternative but to impose a 12 to 20 year sentence on the drug charges. By law, the sentence for the firearms offence must run consecutive to the other one, and no alternative sentencing is available.