Woman charged to trying to smuggle guns to her son

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Nashville woman allegedly tried to smuggle three pistols into Marshall County's Jail for an inmate last week, but corrections officers found the guns during a routine search.

Betty Sumner, 76, of Nash-ville, tried to smuggle the guns into jail for her son, Ronald Sumner, 39, of Nashville, on Aug. 26, according to the report by Marshall County Sheriff's Detective Bart Fagan.

Follow-ing standard procedure to search everything to be given to an inmate, Correction Officer Bill Herring opened a domino box, and found a Davis .32 automatic pistol loaded with five bullets; a Bryco Arms .380 loaded with six rounds; and an unloaded .22 RG revolver, Fagan wrote in his report.

"It's the first time I've ever seen it, in 17 years," Fagan said.

Fagan interviewed "everyone involved," but had no comment on Betty Sumner's motivation, or whether Ronald Sumner had asked for the guns.

Betty Sumner was arrested and charged with introduction of contraband into a penal institution. Her bond was set at $50,000, but she made bond and was out of jail the next day. She is due in General Sessions Court on Oct. 19.

Ronald Sumner was set for trial here earlier this year, but pleaded guilty to a fifth offence of driving under the influence and violation of the implied consent law. Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler sentenced him to five days in the County jail on the implied consent charge, and a year in prison on the DUI, specifying that Sumner serve at least 150 days, reporting to jail between May 3 and 10. Sumner was also ordered to pay a $3,000 fine, plus costs, and to lose his drivers license for five years.

Sumner failed to report as scheduled, so he was arrested on a failure to appear warrant and was in Crigler's court again. This time, the judge sentenced Sumner to an additional two years, of which he must serve at least 35 percent before he's eligible for a parole board hearing.