Guilty pleas accepted; sentences handed down

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Three guilty pleas were accepted from defendants represented by the Public Defender's Office last week in Marshall County Circuit Court.

The longest sentence handed down by Judge Robert Crigler went to Robert V. Wheat, 54, of Jennifer Lane, who pleaded guilty to initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine. Wheat was sentenced to 11 years, of which he must serve 30 percent before he's eligible for a Parole Board hearing. He has 88 days jail credit.

According to the prosecution's statements in court, police responded to a 9-11 call from the Wheat residence, and found him with burns on his face and hands. There had just been an explosion as Wheat tried to manufacture meth, following a hand-drawn diagram and sheet of instructions that became part of the evidence against him.

Wheat has previous convictions for domestic assault, passing worthless checks, forgery, theft, and public intoxication.

Mark L. Preston, 51, of Franklin, pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and, because he missed a scheduled court date, failure to appear. Crigler sentenced him to six months in the county jail. He is to spend the rest of an 11-month-29-day sentence on probation. On the failure-to-appear charge, Preston is to remain on probation for another year. He was ordered to pay a total of $2,499.50 in fines and costs. The other charges against Preston (violation of the implied consent law, speeding, and violation of the financial responsibility law) were dismissed.

Preston's legal problems do not end there, however. The case file states that he was arrested in February 2010 for public intoxication in Williamson County and also in that county he was charged with DUI in May.

Kenneth Wayne Robertson, 39, formerly of Lewisburg, also known as "Kenny Robinson," pleaded guilty to violation of the sexual offender registry law and was sentenced to three years at 35 percent. Robertson moved from an apartment he lived in on Cornersville Road without telling his probation officer. This was discovered during a routine check by Lewisburg Police Department Detective Santiago Mcklean.

Robertson was also indicted last month for failure to appear. Robertson was convicted in 1997 on a statutory rape allegedly committed in 1996. His criminal record includes convictions for drug offences, burglary, trespassing and theft, and at least two previous violations of the sex offender registry law. Robertson was convicted in Davidson County in July 2010, charged with sale of cocaine.