Man turns down trial, pleads guilty to selling cocaine
A Lewisburg man pleaded guilty Tuesday instead of going through with a jury trial.
Randall W. Keel, 56, of Highland Avenue, was charged with sale and delivery of a Schedule II drug (powder cocaine), as well as possession of the drug with intent to sell and deliver.
The potential jurors were seated in the courtroom and Circuit Court Clerk Elinor Foster had just finished calling the roll, when it was announced that Keel would plead guilty.
Keel pled guilty to sale of cocaine and to possession of cocaine with intent to sell, and Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler sentenced him to 15 years on each count, to be served concurrently. The "delivery" charges were dismissed.
As a "persistent" offender, Keel will have to serve 45 percent of his sentence, or 6 3/4 years, before being eligible for a parole board hearing.
If all goes well, he could be released in late spring 2017.
Keel had been out on bond, but after Crigler announced the sentence, he was handcuffed and led away to start serving his time.
Keel was represented by attorney by L. Gilbert Anglin of Murfreesboro.