Grand jury indicts three

Friday, July 1, 2011

At the last meeting of their six-month term, Marshall County's grand jury handed down just three indictments.

"I think that's a record: a 10-minute grand jury," exclaimed Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler.

"Actually, it was 20 minutes," said District Attorney Chuck Crawford. "They started early."

The three men indicted were as follows.

* Bryan Aaron Williams, 19, of Cornersville, was charged with two counts of public indecency, two counts of solicitation of a minor, and one count of sexual battery. Williams graduated from Cornersville High School in May. Warrants sworn by Cornersville Police Officer Michael Galyon state that Williams exposed himself to two girls, tried to persuade two girls to meet him for sex, and improperly touched one girl. A total of three girls, between 14 and 16 years of age, complained about Williams. He is free on a $45,000 bond.

* J. T. Franklin Jr., 45, of Lawrenceburg, was charged with one count of aggravated sexual battery. Lewisburg Police Department Detective Scott Braden swore out the warrant, stating Franklin had "unlawful sexual contact with a 6-year-old female" between Dec. 1 and 25, 2010. Braden further wrote, "Franklin did admit to the unlawful sexual contact."

* Donald W. Fontenot, 44, of Columbia, was charged with driving under the influence and violation of the implied consent law, after he was found driving erratically on Franklin Pike in the early hours of Sunday, Oct. 10. According to records, Fontenot was an electrician at the Browns Ferry nuclear plant.

Indictiment does not mean a person is guilty. That's determined by a trial or by a guilty plea.

In other Circuit Court business, Crigler denied the motion for a new trial for Mitchell Ford and ordered a mental evaluation for Bill Bartlett, 68, of Verona Road. Bartlett has been arrested several times this year, and charged with driving under the influence, violation of the implied consent law, and public intoxication. According to the report of one of Bartlett's arrests by Marshall County Sheriff's Department Deputy Cecil Thrasher, when asked if he had been drinking, Bartlett replied, "You know I drink all day." He has been jailed since being arrested on a bench warrant for failure to appear.