Sanders sentenced to 10 years on meth charges

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

By Karen Hall


A Lewisburg man pleaded guilty in Circuit Court Friday to initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine and to possession of meth with intent to sell and deliver it.

Brandon D. Sanders, 28, was sentenced to 10 years on each count, to be served at the same time. He will have to serve 30 percent of the sentence before being eligible for a parole board hearing. Circuit Court Judge Lee Russell also ordered Sanders to pay a $2,000 fine.

Giving a factual basis for the charges, Assistant District Attorney Holly Eubanks said law enforcement was called to Thomas Street in Lewisburg because someone saw a suspicious person near a quarantined house. They found a car in which Sanders was the passenger, and a search of the vehicle revealed multiple baggies of meth, as well as digital scales.

"He admitted to law enforcement he sold meth," said Eubanks, noting police quoted Sanders as saying, "I have to make a living somehow!"

A backpack with the equipment and ingredients for making meth was found, and the ADA reported Sanders said they "rode around and cooked it while riding."

"That's a first for me," exclaimed Russell, apparently unfamiliar with the concept of a mobile meth lab.

"It's not at all uncommon," said Eubanks. "It's highly dangerous."

In other court business, Carlton. P. Blanton, 32, of College Grove had the Public Defender's Office appointed to represent him. Blanton was indicted last month, charged with aggravated burglary, sexual battery, three counts of aggravated assault, and four counts of rape. Blanton wanted to hire a lawyer, but suffered a series of financial reverses since making bond, and was unable to do so.

"I'm only fighting 'cause it ain't true," he said in court.

Local attorney David McKenzie was also in court, asking for a reduced bond for his client Scotty Blackwell. Blackwell is charged with attempted murder, and has been in jail since August last year. His trial was scheduled for May, but could not take place then, due to the unforeseen two-week length of Heather McCollum's trial.

McKenzie called local bondswoman Mamie Cochran to the witness stand.

"I'm willing to go as high as I can on a bond for him," she said. "I don't believe he's a (flight) risk. I've known him most of his life, and I've never known him to run from anything."

In response to questions from McKenzie, Cochran explained her ceiling for a bond was $50,000 per person. (Blackwell's is currently set at 10 times that -- $500,000.)

If Blackwell's bond were reduced to $50,000, she would charge him $5,000.

"Who's going to pay?" asked Assistant District Attorney Eddie Barnard.

"His mother," said Cochran. "I'm in business; I'm not doing charity work."

"The state opposes bond reduction," said Barnard. "One of the factors is the danger to the community" if he's out of jail.

Russell agreed with him.

"When you look at the seriousness of the charges and the extent of his past record, the bond is appropriate," the judge said. "I respectfully deny the motion for reduction of bond."

Blackwell will thus spend another Christmas in jail, remaining there until his trial in January.