Fighting woman back in jail

Friday, February 15, 2013

By Karen Hall

Staff Writer

A Lewisburg woman who pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and received a split sentence is back in jail after violating the terms of her community corrections.

Symetra Brown, 37, of Woodlawn Avenue, and her sister Tabitha Brown, 35, attacked and injured a 16-year-old girl from Nashville at Walmart in Lewisburg on June 19, 2011. The teenager allegedly told one of the sisters to pull up her pants because her thong was showing.

"I suspect she learned a pretty good lesson about keeping (her) mouth shut," said Assistant District Attorney Eddie Barnard at the sentencing hearing.

"The fact that this young girl made a statement doesn't give two grown women the right to do what they did," Barnard continued.

The victim needed reconstructive facial surgery and now has a titanium plate instead of bone as part of her left eye socket. According to what was said at the sentencing hearing, her medical expenses total $30,523.90. This was paid by TennCare, so restitution has to be made to the state.

Tabitha Brown, who landed the bone-shattering punch, has a previous record of violent behavior. She was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison, and is currently confined in the Tennessee Prison for Women. According to the Department of Corrections website, Tabitha Brown is eligible for a parole board hearing in March 2014, and her sentence ends in November 2015.

Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler called determining the sentence for Symetra Brown a "much more difficult decision." Both sisters participated in the fight, recorded on the store's surveillance cameras, but Symetra Brown's only prior record was for driving offences. Crigler eventually decided to place her on community corrections for five years, after serving 60 days in jail. She agreed to pay $50 per month toward the restitution.

A warrant was written earlier this year for Symetra Brown's arrest after she violated her community corrections by testing positive for marijuana use, and also by failing to pay court costs as ordered.

When she was in court for the first time on this charge on Feb. 6, Crigler appointed the Public Defender's Office to represent Symetra Brown.

In other Circuit Court business Feb. 6, Shelby L. Harris, 31, of Silver Creek Road, was arraigned on charges of sale and delivery of crack cocaine. The grand jury indicted Harris in November, but this was his first court appearance. Harris allegedly sold the crack to a confidential informant working for the 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force on July 19, 2011. Harris has retained Robert Dalton of Lewisburg as his attorney. According to documents in his case file, if Harris is found guilty, his sentence may be enhanced by prior felony convictions in Marshall County for aggravated burglary, statutory rape, and possession with intent to sell a Schedule II drug.

Also in court on Feb. 6, a Shelbyville couple who were indicted on charges of sale and delivery of Lortabs to a confidential informant both pleaded guilty.

Taryn Smith made an open plea, and will be sentenced on April 3. Smith's co-defendant, Bryan K. Moore, 36, received a sentence of three years and nine months, of which he must serve at least 30 percent before being eligible for a parole board hearing. Moore was also ordered to pay fines totaling $5,000.

Smith and Moore were both represented by Shelbyville attorney Brenda Bramlett. After Moore was sentenced, she asked that he be allowed to report to jail later in the month, but Crigler denied this request. Bramlett said Moore had a case pending in Bedford County and a court appearance there this week, but Crigler assured her the jail could be trusted to deliver him to court.