Helping jail escapee leads to 30-day term

Friday, July 27, 2012

By Karen Hall

Staff Writer

A young Lewisburg man must report Aug. 22 to the Marshall County Jail where he's to serve 30 days as a result of his conviction by a jury earlier this summer.

Bryan S. Harmon, 22, of 3rd Avenue North, was charged with being an accessory after the fact in the escape of Claude Anthony Brown on Nov. 16, 2011.

Brown was a jail inmate, working that day at the Solid Waste Department's recycling sorting line. He testified someone supplied the group with alcohol, and they had also indulged in some "synthetic dope." Under the influence, and knowing there would be trouble because of that when the crew got back to jail, Brown decided to run.

He took off down 3rd Avenue, and entered Harmon's house, where he used to live.

"He was just a kid you barged in on?" asked Harmon's lawyer, Robert Marlow of Shelbyville, at the trial.

"Yes sir," Brown answered. "He wasn't wanting me there. He was nervous and didn't know what to do."

Brown admitted running through the house, stripping off his jail clothes on the way, and taking shorts and a shirt from the clean clothes in Harmon's laundry room.

Before he could make a getaway, police had the house surrounded, and Brown was arrested.

"There was no proof it was planned," said Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler. "He was not under duress, but there was no sustained intent" to commit a crime.

"The punishment has to fit the crime," the judge said, sentencing Harmon to two years on Community Corrections (a strict form of probation) as well as ordering him to pay court costs and spend 30 days in jail.

Local bondsman Michael Farrar spoke up for Harmon, stating Harmon has been helping him out with odd jobs since he moved his bonding business to Lewisburg several years ago. Farrar told the court he would let Harmon drive for his new taxi service if Harmon got his license back.

"I'll put him to work even if he doesn't get his driver's license," Farrar promised, adding that Harmon was already helping out with the bondsman's carpet-cleaning service.

Also sentenced in Circuit Court Wednesday was Stephon Gleaves, 20, of Hill Street.

Earlier this summer, Gleaves made an open plea to charges of sale and delivery of a C-Felony amount of crack cocaine.

Assistant District Attorney Eddie Barnard used a laptop computer to show Crigler a video of the drug transaction made by a confidential informant working for the 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force.

According to what was said in court, the video shows Gleaves with Brandon Burns, who was also indicted on drug charges. Gleaves claimed to be unaware that Burns was making a drug deal.

"After looking at the video, the defendant was clearly a willing participant," Crigler said. "The defendant has not been truthful," the judge added.

Crigler sentenced Gleaves to three years in prison, and ordered him to pay a $2,000 fine. Alternative sentencing, such as Community Corrections or probation, was denied. Gleaves had been out on bond, but this was revoked and he was taken into custody. Gleaves' lawyer, Terry Hernando, announced a few minutes later that his client waived the right to appeal.