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Inmate indicted on escape charge

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

By Karen Hall

Staff Writer

A man who has been serving time in Marshall County Jail since September 2010 was indicted on new charges when the grand jury met last week.

Claude Anthony Brown, 28, of Cleveland, Tenn. was charged with escape, theft, and introduction of contraband into a penal institution, according to warrants sworn out by Marshall County Sheriff's Detective Tony Nichols.

Brown was on work release at the solid waste department on Nov. 16, when he ran from the location, went into a nearby house and changed into regular clothes in an attempt to evade law officers who were looking for him, Nichols wrote. Brown also allegedly took four $100 gift cards that belonged to the solid waste department.

When he was recaptured and returned to the jail, according to Nichols, Brown had "synthetic drugs in his possession, to wit, suspected Salvia Divinorum," synthetic marijuana. Brown's original crimes, to which he pled guilty, were burglary and failure to appear. The Public Defender's Office will represent Brown in his new case.

That law office is also representing James Bryan Hargrove, 33, of West End Avenue North, who is charged with aggravated burglary and theft, after breaking into a home through the back window and taking prescription medications and $100 cash.

Several other indictments were issued last week.

* A Lewisburg woman was indicted on charges arising from an incident last summer.

Stephanie Lynn Meredith, 51, of Yell Road, was charged with reckless endangerment, driving under the influence, and violation of the implied consent law. According to the warrants sworn out by Lewisburg Police Officer Amanda Newcomb, about 8:30 p.m. Aug. 26, Meredith "operated her vehicle at a high rate of speed on the inside of the Lewisburg square and the Marshall County Sheriff's Office parking lot, while pedestrians and other vehicles were present." Newcomb names one bystander who was put "in fear for her safety." The witnesses are listed as Lewisburg Police Sgt. Chris Sawyers and Officers Jennifer McDonald and Clyde Ragsdale, and MCSD Detective Tony Nichols.

Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler gave Meredith until Jan. 4 to hire a lawyer.

* James Thomas King, 36, of Old Belfast Road, was indicted on what is allegedly his fourth DUI charge. King crashed his 1998 Ford Escort on Liberty Valley Road about 5 p.m. Oct. 19. He will be represented by Lewisburg attorney Rob Dalton.

* The second woman named in a November indictment for "elder abuse," Megan Quam, was arraigned last week. Allegedly she and Crystal J. Baugh-Hamler were employed by Independent Opportunities Inc. to act as caregivers to the victim. On July 26, Quam and Baugh-Hamler are alleged to have "deprived him of services necessary to maintain his health and welfare." Quam will be represented by Ronald Freeman of Columbia.

* Another woman who was indicted in November and given time to find a lawyer was arraigned last week. Kimberly W. Wentzel, 49, of Cornersville, was charged with seven counts of prescription fraud and three counts of identity theft. She will be represented by Rob Dalton.