By Karen Hall
One of the longest sentences imposed in Marshall County Circuit Court since the start of the year went to a career criminal who committed a series of burglaries here in the fall of 2006.
Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler gave Tony Eastep, 51, an effective sentence of 15 years, of which he must serve at least 60 percent before being eligible for a parole board hearing. Eastep pled guilty to six counts of aggravated burglary, one count of attempted aggravated burglary, and one count of burglary.
Eastep has just over four years of jail credit, having been serving time in Maury County for another conviction. Eastep was free from March to September 2011, but he was picked up in Hickman County on the bench warrant that was issued when he was indicted here in 2007.
Eastep's criminal record as an adult starts when he was 19, and fills five pages in his case file. In the record are four gaps - of four, three, six, and nine years.
The burglaries in Marshall County were investigated and traced to Eastep and detectives interviewed him in the Maury County jail where he made a full confession in November 2006. Eastep left school after 4th grade and admitted in court he could not read or write, so his confession was written for him by Norman Dalton, then a captain in the Sheriff's Department.
Eastep was represented by Columbia-based attorney Cara Lynn.
Another guilty plea accepted by Crigler came from Wayne Hampton, 45, of College Street. Hampton, also known as "June B," according to his case file, sold a B-felony amount of crack cocaine to confidential informants working for the 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force in March and April last year. Crigler sentenced him to 10 years on each count, and also imposed a total fine of $4,000. The two sentences are run concurrently, and Hampton must serve at least 30 percent before being eligible for parole.
Clint Letchworth, 20, of Adams Street, pled guilty to attempted aggravated robbery and was sentenced to four years at 30 percent. On Sept. 2, 2011, Letchworth and another man entered a woman's home and threatened her with a deadly weapon, in this case a length of pipe, demanding money and drugs. The two fled without taking anything, and were soon arrested.
Letchworth's aunt, Charlene Small, 39, of Silver Street, was involved in the same crime: she drove Letchworth, and two other men to the scene of the crime and later returned to pick them up. She pled guilty to criminal responsibility for facilitation of attempted aggravated robbery, a D Felony. Crigler sentenced her to four years and six months. Small has to serve at least 35 percent of this sentence because she is a "multiple offender." She was convicted of TennCare fraud and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud in 2009, and was out on parole.
Cordaro Anthoney Tordy, 21, of 3rd Avenue North, pled guilty to theft, and was sentenced to two years at 30 percent. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $150 to the local pawnshop where the 17-inch HP laptop computer he stole was recovered. Tordy also has to pay $100 to the owner of the laptop, to cover what was spent getting a virus, and numerous game and music downloads, removed from the computer. According to documents in the case file, Tordy stole the laptop from an East Commerce Street business on April 19, and pawned it in June to help a friend who needed money. He's also in trouble in Lewisburg City Court, which sentenced him to 11 months 29 days for shoplifting and the same amount of time for violation of probation. The City Court sentences run concurrently, but Tordy has to serve at least 50 percent of them.