Luna ordered to serve his time

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Culleoka man who violated his probation was ordered to serve the balance of his sentence in prison when he appeared in Circuit Court last week.

Given state law, Judge Robert Crigler had to conclude that it would "depreciate probation" if Andrew Jason Luna, 41, were allowed to go back on it after violating his agreement.

Therefore, Crigler ordered Luna to complete the rest of his sentence - nine years, plus 11 months and 29 days - in prison, as well as pay off the remainder of the $4,016 fines and costs from his original case.

Luna, of Whitsell Road, had been placed on probation in August after pleading guilty to drug offences and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Luna was arrested in January on similar charges, but failed to inform his probation officer Chris Hill, which was a violation of his probation agreement. He also field-tested positive for methamphetamine twice in February during visits to the probation office, after testing negative from August through January. Luna turned himself in before he could be arrested on Hill's violation-of-probation warrant.

"This is a person who is simply an addict," Luna's attorney Jason Watley told Crigler. "We can only ask the court for mercy."

Luna graduated from high school in 1988, and had worked alongside his father at Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation ever since, Watley said.

Agent Shane George of the 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force testified a confidential informant told him in January that "Luna was back in production." The CI supplied the pseudoephedrine in exchange for some of the finished product - methamphetamine. The Drug Task force set up an operation and caught Luna with the pseudoephedrine. A search of his residence discovered other ingredients and paraphernalia for "cooking" and smoking meth.

"He tried to stop (using meth), but was unable to do so," George said, describing his conversation with Luna.

"He was his own dealer," making methamphetamine for his own use, George explained, describing Luna as "sad" and "tore up about" throwing away a good job.

Crigler agreed.

"It's a very sad situation," the judge said.

"You've ruined your life by losing that job," Crigler told Luna, adding that methamphetamine seems to have "an addictive power in a class by itself."

Also during the regular Circuit Court day, Crigler accepted a guilty plea from Kenneth Ray Davidson, 45, of Thomas Avenue, and sentenced him to three years at 35 percent, meaning he could be eligible for a parole hearing after serving about a year. Davidson was charged with driving after being declared a Habitual Motor Vehicle Offender, as well as driving on a revoked license. He is due to report to start serving his sentence on March 23. Davidson's case file shows he has been a HMVO since 1993, and has previous convictions for forgery, robbery, driving under the influence, and drug charges.

He had been represented by the Public Defender's Office, but retained attorney Bill Haywood for this court appearance.