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Keeping an eye on court cases

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Farris  

Deontre Cortez Farris turned 21 on Aug. 18; he’s been sitting in jail since January 2019, awaiting a trial on a charge of aggravated robbery.  

Farris is accused of robbing a Circle K in Shelbyville on Jan. 20, 2019.  

According to police, Farris and Leslie Coleman robbed the store at knifepoint, stealing $78, two cartons of cigarettes, an 18 pack of Bud Light beer, and a Blu starter kit (smokeless tobacco.)  

Aggravated robbery is a Class B felony which carries a sentence of eight to 30 years imprisonment, as well as a fine of up to $25,000.  

Farris had been unable to pay for a bond. The delay in Farris’ case is due in large part to COVID-19 which has the courts backed up. Twice Farris’ bond has been reduced but as he went to the judge Aug. 23, his bond was $10,000 and he was still unable to pay.  

Bedford County resident James Aaron Nelson, who has been working with Farris as a mentor, was in court to vouch for him Aug. 23.  

“I believe in this gentleman,” Nelson said.  

A cousin to Farris, who lives in Columbia, has reportedly offered to provide housing for Farris and Farris’s grandmother has a cleaning business and will provide him with a job. Farris was asking Judge Forest Durard, Jr. to release him on his own recognizance but the judge was unwilling to let him out to await trial without some financial leverage.  

Durard agreed to release Farris on a $750 bond and he will be required to wear an ankle monitor.  

“You can’t step out of line,” Judge Durard said to Farris. “You have been on the fast track to nowhere. You’ve got time to turn it around.”  

Farris will next appear in court Oct. 25 for a case review.  

Nelson agreed to provide transportation for Farris to court.  

Maxwell  

Shannon Lee Maxwell, 23, Shelbyville, was arraigned, Aug. 23, on three counts of second degree murder, death by distribution (of fentanyl), for allegedly providing methamphetamine and fentanyl to another man who died from a drug overdose on March 18.  

Second degree murder is a Class A felony which carries a sentence of 15 to 60 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.  

According to unconfirmed reports, Maxwell took the body of the man who died from the overdose to a drug store parking lot in Shelbyville.  

Barrett and Duncan  

William Eric Barrett, 22, of Woodbury and Johnny Lee Duncan, 60, of McMinnville, were arraigned Aug. 23 on charges of criminal simulation and aggravated robbery.  

The two are accused of attempting purchase a vehicle on Jan. 29, 2019 from a man on Central Avenue in Shelbyville, using $7,000 in counterfeit $100 bills and then driving away with the vehicle after displaying a firearm and demanding that the vehicle’s owner remove the plate and give them the keys.  

Aggravated robbery is a Class C felony punishable by a sentence of three to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. Criminal simulation is at the least a Class E felony which is punishable by one to six years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $3,000.  

Woodson  

Robert Lee Woodson Van Stone, 31, who is homeless, was arraigned Aug. 23 on a charge of aggravated rape of a child. Van Stone is accused of engaging in a sex act with a 3-year-old girl sometime between May 1 and June 30, 2015.  

Aggravated rape of a child is the unlawful sexual penetration of a victim if the victim is 8 years of age or less.  

Aggravated rape of a child is Class A felony which carries a sentence of 15 to 60 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.  

Vandergriff  

Jonathan Julian Vandergriff, 20, of Shelbyville, was arraigned, Aug. 23, on charges of rape of a child and contributing to the delinquency of a child.  

Vandergriff is accused of engaging in a sex act with a 12-year-old girl and providing the girl, who was a runaway, with shelter and concealment in October 2020.  

Rape of a child is a Class A felony which carries a sentence of 15 to 60 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. The maximum sentence for contributing to the delinquency of a child, a Class A misdemeanor, is 11 months and 29 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.  

Manley  

Michael Duane Manley, 32, of Chattanooga, was arraigned on charges of speeding, evading arrest risk of death or injury-vehicle involved (a felony), driving while license revoked (a misdemeanor), possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell (a B Class Felony), and possession of drug paraphernalia (a misdemeanor.)  

Police say when they attempted pull over the vehicle Manley was driving on April 1, 2021, he fled but he was later found at the Shelbyville Inn. Manley’s Florida driver's license was suspended.  

Police observed Manley driving 90 in a 50-mph zone. Manley was in possession of digital scales, commonly used by drug dealers. He was also found to be in possession of 7.3 grams of methamphetamine.  

Other arraignments  

Andre Farneik Johnson, 50, of Shelbyville, is charged with evading arrest risk of death or injury-vehicle-involved (a felony), possession of a weapon (previously convicted of a felony drug offense), and simple possession/casual exchange of drugs (a misdemeanor.)  

Jesus Ezequiel, 31, of Shelbyville, was arraigned on three counts of DUI, a fifth offense.  

He was also arraigned on a charge of driving on a revoked license. He is being held on a $6,000 bond.  

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