Two indicted for violent crimes

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Most of the indictments handed down by the grand jury last week are a result of drug charges,

but two arose from crimes of violence.

Henry L. Rhiner, 49, of Hwy 64, was indicted on a charge of aggravated assault. His arrest warrant sworn by Lewisburg Police Officer Steve Sanders Jr. on Dec. 5, 2009, states, "Henry L. Rhiner did cut Clebron Mealer in the face and neck with a gray metal folding knife. This act did cause serious bodily injury. Clebron Mealer did identify Henry L. Rhiner as the individual who assaulted him."

Rhiner told Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler that he was on disability and had no money to hire a lawyer, and Crigler assigned the public defender's office to represent Rhiner.

The subject of the other indictment for a crime of violence was Jerry Lee Hunter, 50, of 1st Avenue North. He was indicted on charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated burglary, and aggravated robbery. He is accused of slashing a man's throat. The full story was published here on Friday.

James Earl Bragg Jr., 26, of Murfreesboro, was indicted on charges of possession with intent to sell and deliver not less than 10, or more that 70, pounds of a Schedule VI controlled substance (marijuana) within 1,000 feet of a school. Bragg and Tamira Thomas, 24, of Atlanta, were stopped by Cornersville Police for a traffic violation on Oct. 13, 2009, and 40 pounds of marijuana were found in the rental car from New Mexico that Bragg was driving. Thomas was indicted in December. Bragg is represented by Kelly Wilson of Shelbyville.

A direct presentment was made to the grand jury that resulted in two-count indictments for a couple, Christopher Gregory Grimes (age and address unknown) and Eugena Rosalee Grimes, 20, of Old Farmington Road. They were each charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana. The public defender's office was assigned to represent Christopher, while Jheri Beth Rich was appointed to represent Eugena.

Alexander Wray Harris, 20, of Crick Street, received a six-count indictment, relating to three incidents of sale and delivery of cocaine to a confidential informant working for the 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force. Two of the "buys" occurred within 1,000 feet of a school. In a document in his case file, Harris is quoted as telling agents he had been "involved in (the) crack cocaine trade for the last year since graduating high school." Harris is represented by LaShawn A. Williams of Nashville, who was recently in court here defending Tyrone Pierce Jr.

Kendall S. Nickens, 40, of Flintville, was indicted on a charge of obtaining Lortab and Neurontin by "misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge" at Kroger pharmacy on Jan. 26, 2010, according to the warrant sworn by Lewisburg Police Officer Brad Martin. The public defender's office is also representing Nickens.

Marcus L. Canty, 39, of Columbia, failed to appear for the jury trial on drug charges that was scheduled for him on July 30, 2009. He was arrested in December, and is now held without bond. The grand jury issued new indictments for Canty as well, on charges of failure to appear, and of sale and delivery of more than 0.5 grams of cocaine to a confidential informant of the 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force. At the time of his disappearance, Canty was represented by attorney Bill Haywood. Since then Haywood petitioned to be allowed to withdraw as counsel, stating that he and Canty "do not agree as to the critical path of defense of this matter." The public defender's office may also be unable to represent Canty.

"We may have a conflict," said Donna Hargrove, head of the public defender's office. "We definitely do on the old charges."

Indictment does not mean a person is guilty. That's determined by a guilty plea, or by a trial.