By Karen Hall
A young man who was a basketball star at Marshall County High School was sentenced to 37 months in prison for selling drugs when Circuit Court met for the first time since the holidays.
Jamie A. Perryman, 21, whose latest address was Saddlewood Drive, made an open plea in two cases of selling crack cocaine to a confidential informant in September and October 2011.
Perryman was arrested on warrants relating to these sales shortly after the murder of Penny Blackwell Coyle in November 2011, and briefly a person of interest in that investigation.
At the time, the Tribune reported Perryman played Tiger football and basketball, and was a member of the basketball team which went to the state tournament in 2010. Perryman told Crystal Gray of the Board of Probation and Parole he had offers to play basketball at Freed-Hardeman University, Tennessee State University, and Lane College, but his C average did not allow him to qualify academically. Instead, he attended Columbia State Community College, but dropped out due to family circumstances. Perryman has a one-year-old daughter.
Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler held a sentencing hearing for Perryman Wednesday.
Gray read excerpts from a lengthy statement Perryman wrote for her pre-sentence report.
"I had a very rough childhood, but that does not excuse the way that I lived my life...or the choices that I made. I sold drugs to get ahead fast, to make easy money," Perryman wrote. "I am truly sorry for my actions and the bad choices that I made."
This was written on Nov. 14, about 10 days after Perryman started a job at Nissan, and he was evidently feeling optimistic about the future.
"I am confident that the choices that I make will be positive and I realize I can be an asset to society," Perryman concluded.
It was revealed in court that Perryman has just been fired from Nissan for testing positive for marijuana. It was also announced he will soon be the defendant in another drug case.
Lt. Shane Daugherty of the 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force testified on Jan. 4 Assistant Director Tim Miller got a tip that Perryman had been to Nashville to get marijuana, and would be delivering it to buyers in Marshall County.
Task Force agents found Perryman driving his car, and performed a traffic stop when he failed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign.
As they approached the car, Daugherty said, the agents noticed "an overwhelming odor of raw marijuana." Perryman turned over seven bags of marijuana, and admitted he made the trip to Nashville to buy an ounce of high-grade marijuana.
Perryman's retained attorney, Terry Hernando, asked Crigler to sentence his client to six years on probation, or at least give him the minimum sentence and run the two sentences at the same time.
"Mr. Hernando tries hard for his clients," said Assistant District Attorney Eddie Barnard. "He (Perryman) shouldn't get a thing except the maximum, and the sentences to run consecutive."
Crigler decided on sentences of three years and one month in each of the two cases, to run at the same time. Mandatory fines total $4,000. Perryman will be eligible for a parole board hearing after completing 30 percent of his sentence.
While questioning Daugherty, Barnard asked, "Is cocaine a common problem in this community?"
"Yes, sir," the agent replied.
"Is incarceration a deterrent?" the ADA asked.
"Yes, a very strong deterrent," Daugherty replied.
Barnard asked Daugherty about the men Perryman was known to associate with, including C-Moe and Pookie (Sharod Moore and Jeffrey Mitchell).
"Are they Vice Lords?" Barnard asked.
"Yes, sir," Daugherty answered.
Perryman denied gang affiliation to Gray when she interviewed him and repeated the denial when she said she was aware of the people he associated with and that they were acknowleged gang members.