Eighteen defendants pled guilty to criminal charges and nine others were arraigned on charges last week as the March term of Pontotoc County Circuit Court convened.

Defendant James Rayburn Gardner pled guilty to two counts of sale methamphetamine. On one count Gardner was given a 20 years suspended prison sentence and placed on five years post release supervision. 

Gardner was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $915 restitution, $500 in fees and all court costs. 

On the second count Gardner was sentenced to eight years in prison, but he was given credit for time served and the balance suspended. He was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $500 in fees and all court costs. The prison sentences run consecutively.

Defendant Samuel Holloway pled guilty to possession of meth and was sentenced to a three years suspended prison term. He was placed on three years supervised probation, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $500 in fees and $50 restitution. 

Defendant Eddie Tyreke Vance pled guilty in two causes to charges of aggravated assault-domestic violence and grand larceny.

On the assault plea Vance was sentenced to 20 years, all suspended, and placed on five years supervised probation. He was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay court costs and $500 in fees. 

On the larceny plea Vance received a five years suspended prison sentence which runs consecutively with the other cause. He was ordered to pay a $500 fine, plus all court costs and $500 in fees. 

Defendant Daniel Ray Anderson pled guilty to possession of THC but the court withheld adjudication of guilt and imposition of sentence pending completion of three years probation.

Anderson was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $150 restitution and $500 in fees. 

Defendant Zydarius Hallman pled guilty in two causes to charges of burglary of a dwelling and burglary of a building.

On the dwelling burglary Hallman was sentenced to 25 years in prison, all suspended. He was placed on five years post release supervision, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $1,000 restitution, $500 in fees and all court costs.

On the building burglary Hallman was sentenced to serve two years in prison. This sentence runs consecutively with the other cause. He must also pay court costs. 

Defendant Larry Carl Johnson pled guilty to possession of meth with intent and was sentenced to a 30 years prison term with 26 years suspended. 

Johnson was placed on five years post release supervision, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $150 restitution, $500 in fees and all court costs. 

Kirsten Lane Wells pled guilty in two causes to charges of receiving stolen property and grand larceny.

On the stolen property plea Wells was sentenced to serve five years in prison and pay court costs. 

On the grand larceny plea Wells was sentenced to a 10 years suspended prison term which will run consecutively with the other sentence. Wells was placed on five years post release supervision and fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $600 in fees, court costs, $13,850 in restitution and $600 in fees. 

Defendant Ronald David Hester, Jr., pled guilty to four counts of felony child abuse. On count one Hester was sentenced to 30 years in prison with 27 years suspended. Hester was placed on five years post release supervision, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay court costs, $400 in fees and $1,000 to the Mississippi Children's Trust Fund. 

On each of the other three child abuse counts Hester was sentenced to 30 years in prison, all ninety years suspended. All four sentences run consecutively. 

Defendant Willie Allen Strong pled guilty to two counts of DUI fourth. On the first count Strong was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with eight years suspended. He was placed on five years post release supervision, fined $3,000 and ordered to pay court costs and $500 in fees. 

On the second count of DUI fourth, Strong was also sentenced to 10 years in prison with eight years suspended. Strong was credited for time already served in jail. The two sentences will run concurrently. He was also fined $3,000 and ordered to pay court costs and $500 in fees. 

Defendant Mark Chandler Loggins pled guilty in two causes to charges of malicious mischief and burglary of a building. 

On the malicious mischief plea Goggins was sentenced to complete three years of intensive supervision/house arrest. He was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $3,500 restitution, court costs and $500 in fees. 

On the burglary plea Goggins was sentenced to a seven years suspended prison term which runs consecutively with the other sentence. He was placed on five years post release supervision, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay court costs, restitution totaling $4,182 and $500 in fees. 

Defendant Carlos Edward Grant pled guilty to possession of amphetamine and was sentenced to eight years in prison, but with no prior felony conviction the eight years were suspended. Grant was placed on five years supervision, fined $500 and ordered to pay $90 restitution, $500 in fees and court costs. 

Defendant Michael Neal Rutledge pled guilty to fondling and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, but with no prior felony conviction, the 15 years were suspended. Rutledge was placed on five years supervision, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay court costs, $400 in fees and $1,000 to the MS Children's Trust Fund. He was ordered to register as a sex offender. 

Defendant Dwayne Hershel Ruth, Jr., pled guilty in two causes to charges of felon with a weapon and possession of cocaine.

On the weapon charge Ruth was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but credited for time served and the balance suspended. He was placed on five year post release supervision, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $125 restitution, $500 in fees and court costs. 

This sentence will run consecutively with a three years suspended prison term Ruth received on the cocaine plea. He was also ordered to pay court costs and $500 in fees. 

Defendant Jessie James Pitts pled guilty to two counts of sexual battery and was sentenced to 30 years in prison on both counts, all suspended. The two sentences run consecutively. Pitts was placed on five years post release supervision, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $400 in fees, court costs and $1,000 to the MS Children's Trust Fund. He was ordered to register as a sex offender. 

Defendant Shelton Mitch McGreger pled guilty to felony fleeing and was sentenced to five years in prison, but he was credited for time served and the balance suspended. McGreger was placed on four years post release supervision, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay court costs and $500 in fees. 

Defendant Kelly McLaughlin pled guilty to exploitation of a vulnerable adult but the court withheld adjudication of guilt and imposition of sentence pending completion of three years probation. McLaughlin was fined $250 and ordered to pay court costs, restitution totaling $9,949.49 and $1,000 to the MS Victim's Compensation Fund. 

Defendant Edmand Munoz pled guilty to charges of DUI third (other) and shooting into a dwelling. 

On the DUI plea Munoz was sentenced to five years in prison with one year suspended. He was given credit for the time he has served. He was fined $2,000 and ordered to pay $700 in fees and court costs. 

This cause will run consecutively with the shooting plea, in which Munoz was sentenced to a 10 years suspended prison term. He was placed on five years post release supervision, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay court costs and $500 in fees. 

Defendant Virgil Turner Monts, Jr., pled guilty in two causes to charges of possession of meth and possession of a weapon by a felon.

On the meth plea, Monts was sentenced to a 20 years suspended prison term, but he was credited for time served and the balance suspended. He was placed on five years post release supervision, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $75 restitution, $500 in fees and court costs. 

On the weapon plea, Monts was sentenced to a five years suspended prison term which will run consecutively with the other sentence. He was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $500 in fees. 

Defendant Greg D. Watkins pled guilty to DUI fourth and was sentenced to 10 years in prison unless he successfully completes two years of intensive supervision/house arrest. He was placed on five years post release supervision, fined $3,000 and ordered to pay court costs and $500 in fees. 

Nine defendants who were indicted by a prior grand jury were arraigned on their charges during court. 

All nine defendants entered pleas of NOT GUILTY.

Defendants arraigned and their charge(s) included:

-Charles McShan, Jr., DUI 4th;

-Brian Owen McCord, possession of meth;

-Lena Faye Wester, possession of meth;

-Jessica Ashley Ruth, burglary of a dwelling;

-Quincy B. Jenkins, DUI 4th;

-Carlos Edward Grant, possession of marijuana and possession of amphetamines;

-Courtney Rockwell, possession of meth;

-Sylvia Pontoa, child abuse; four counts of child endangerment and two counts of simple assault on a law enforcement officer;

-Jakaya Griffin, conspiracy to introduce contraband into a correctional facility and introduction of contraband into a correctional facility. 

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