Woman sentenced to 5 1/2 years probation

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

By Karen Hall

Staff Writer

A woman who used to live in Chapel Hill pled guilty to sex charges earlier this month, and was placed on probation.

Jeana Lynn Gunter, 35, who now gives her address as Centerville, pled guilty to one count each of criminal attempted sexual exploitation of a minor and sexual exploitation of a minor by electronic means. Six other counts of sexual exploitation by electronic means were dismissed.

Judge Robert Crigler sentenced Gunter to a total of five years and six months on probation, and ordered her to pay court costs and a fine.

"Defendant to have no contact with victim or victim's family," wrote Crigler on his sentencing order.

According to documents in Gunter's case file, authorities found out about her from a tip to the Department of Children's Services child abuse/sex abuse hotline. Her victim, a 15-year-old boy, admitted he received intimate, revealing photos of her, and chatted with her over the Internet and by text message about having sex.

Gunter was represented by Douglas Thompson Bates IV of Bates & Bates, Centerville. After she was arrested for the first time, Gunter made her $24,000 bond with the help of Farrar Bonding. Bondsman Mike Farrar subsequently petitioned the court to be released from her bond, stating that Gunter refused to agree to a weekly check-in and violated her bond contract by arriving late to court and moving without notice. The court granted Farrar's motion, and Gunter found another bondsman.

A Pulaski man who was found guilty after a jury trial in September was also sentenced.

Tim Gilbert, 45, was found guilty of failure to appear, driving after having been declared a Habitual Motor Vehicle Offender, following too close, and criminal impersonation. The jury only found him not guilty of speeding.

Crigler sentenced him to one year and three months on the HMVO and another one year and three months on the failure to appear, to be served consecutively. Gilbert was also sentenced to 11 months 29 days for following too close and six months for criminal impersonation, but these can be served concurrently with his longer sentences.

In a statement written for Crystal Gray of the Board of Probation and Parole, Gilbert said, "I was pulled over and accused of smoking dope. I was told that dope was in the car and that they knew dope was in the car. I was smoking a cigar, not dope. When they couldn't find any drugs that (was) when it came up about my license... Failure to appear is my lawyer's fault. Seems to me like justice is blind."