Beford man sentenced to prison

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A young Shelbyville man was sentenced to 15 years in prison by Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler last week.

A jury found Nicholas Marshall, 22, guilty of two counts of rape in February.

Marshall must serve 100 percent of his sentence because he is considered a "multiple" and "violent" offender. He will remain on the sex offender registry for the rest of his life.

Marshall has a juvenile record. As an adult, he was sentenced to serve eight years at 30 percent after pleading guilty to three counts of aggravated burglary in January 2007. He was released on parole April 27, 2009, but was back in jail on the rape charge less than two months later.

"I was charged for this crime because a girl was (more) worried about her reputation than my freedom," Marshall told Christie Dickie of the Board of Probation and Parole, who interviewed him for the pre-sentence report. "We got drunk and ended up having sex. I did not want to have sex...I even offered to leave. The statement that said I did this crime was forced on me in (an) emotional way."

Dickie's report, and the psychosexual evaluation by Tim K. McConkey, also in the case file, paint a sad picture. Marshall's biological father left the home early on and his stepfather abused him. His mother drank, and Marshall was trying recreational drugs and alcohol before he was 10 years old. Marshall was committed to the Department of Children's Services when he was 12, released at 14, and committed again at 15. DCS then kept him until they had to let him go at age 18. Marshall did get a GED, but as McConkey points out, "Disruptive behavior appears to have interfered with academic stability."

McConkey also notes that Marshall has "little actual employment experience as he has been incarcerated most of his adult life."

Marshall's character is summarized by McConkey as follows: He has "a long history of behavioral acting out. He is challenged in his emotional and social maturity, (and) ability to navigate adult relationships, and has impulse control issues, especially when intoxicated."

However, McConkey is not without hope for Marshall's future. He concludes the evaluation by writing, "With proper treatment - to include a sobriety component - it is expected that he has a fair prognosis for rehabilitation."

Marshall was represented in Circuit Court by the public defender's office. One of its attorneys asked to be allowed withdraw the month before the trial, stating in their motion that Marshall had "threatened to do bodily injury to a member of the public defender's staff" when the office refused to file a motion for him that was believed to be leading toward an ethical violation.

"We can't let people control who their attorney is by their behavior," said Crigler, denying the motion.

McConkey also noted that Marshall stated "he felt he was poorly represented in court and intends to appeal his conviction."

Crigler also sentenced an Alabama man who pleaded Nolo Contendere (Latin for "I do not wish to contend") to three counts of attempted theft over $500, and one count of evading arrest.

According to public record, Harlon Dale Reeves, 52, of Moulton, Ala. unsuccessfully tried to steal two tractors and a pickup truck in Marshall County on Dec. 12, 2008, and then fled on foot from State Trooper James D. Crump, the arresting officer.

Crigler sentenced Reeves to 11 months 29 days probation on each of the counts to which he pleaded, so he will be on probation for a few days less than four years. Court costs of $1,463 are due in full before the first year is over.

District Attorney Mike Bottoms, of the 22nd Judicial District, presented the case to the Marshall County grand jury, because one of the victims is a close relative of an employee in the office of the District Attorney of the 17th Judicial District.

Reeves was represented by Robert D. Marlow of Shelbyville.