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Juvenile Court judge sends child rape case to trial in Circuit Court trial

Friday, February 24, 2012

By Karen Hall

Staff Writer

A young man who committed serious sexual crimes as a juvenile was indicted by the grand jury Wednesday.

Nicholas Walls, 22, of Welch Cemetery Road, was charged with two counts of aggravated sexual battery and three counts of rape of a child. The acts allegedly took place between 2000 and 2006, when his victim was under 13 years old. General Sessions Judge Lee Bowles recently signed the order that allowed Walls' case to proceed to the adult side of the court system. He is represented by Fayetteville-based attorney Ray Fraley.

Also indicted by the grand jury was a Lewisburg man whose alleged altercation with magistrate Donnell Kelly in the booking room of the Marshall County Jail led to Kelly's resignation.

Billy Wayne Vestal, 64, of Maple Street, is charged with one count of aggravated assault, after threatening a woman with a knife. According to the report by Lewisburg Police Officer Clyde Ragsdale, Vestal displayed a knife and put it to the throat of his victim, saying he would kill her. He will be represented by the Public Defender's Office.

The grand jury met for almost two hours, and also handed down these indictments:

* Rodney S. Crosslin, 32, Franklin Road. Crosslin was charged with aggravated assault. According to the report by Ragsdale, on Oct. 15 Crosslin "did stab (his victim) with some type of pointed metal object in the stomach." Crosslin has a separate case arising from events on Oct. 29 when he escaped from Lewisburg Police Officer Clint Newbill who arrested him, for allegedly stealing a car in order flee from the police.

* Paul Robert Johnson, 35, of Franklin Pike, was charged with making methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and reckless endangerment of the four children who lived in the house where the meth was being cooked. Johnson is also charged with evading arrest, resisting arrest, and assaulting an agent of the 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force.

* Bobby L. Ferguson, 64, of Reynolds Road, was charged with driving under the influence (5th offence), violation of the implied consent law, and aggravated assault.

* Alexander W. Harris, 22, of Glenn Avenue, was charged with driving under the influence (4th offence), driving after being declared a habitual motor vehicle offender, driving on a revoked license. In a separate case, Harris was charged with helping another person escape from custody and evade arrest.

* Christopher Flynt, 29, of Finley Beech Road, was charged with four counts of theft, for stealing shopping carts from Wal-Mart, Food Lion and Goodwill on Dec. 28.

* Megan M. Mullen, 25, of West Cedar Street, was charged with aggravated burglary, theft, and simple possession of a Schedule IV drug (alprazolam).

* William P. Wiles IV, 28, of Tiger Boulevard, was charged with three counts of theft. In October and November, it's alleged he stole a hay wagon, a utility trailer, and a horse trailer and sold them for scrap.

* Eric S. Emmons II, 29, of La Vergne, was charged with criminal impersonation, and unlawful possession of a weapon as a felon.

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