Seventeen defendants pled guilty to criminal charges and were sentenced during the final week of proceedings in Pontotoc County Circuit Court which concluded last Friday (Aug. 23). 

Defendant Demond Moncrief pled guilty to felon with a weapon and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but he was credited for time served and the balance suspended. He was placed on five years supervision, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay court costs and $500 in fees.

Defendant Steve Merel Harper pled guilty to felon in possession of a weapon (firearm) and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but with no prior felony the sentence was suspended. He was placed on five years supervision, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay court costs and $500 in fees. 

Defendant Devon Roy Adams pled guilty to charges of sale of meth and possession with intent to sell of a schedule IV controlled substance. On the first drug charge Adams was sentenced to 40 years in prison and 15 years on the second charge, running consecutively. However, both sentences will be suspended pending his successful completion of First District Drug Court treatment.

Adams was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay court costs, $375 restitution, and $1,000 in fees.

Defendant Marla Joy Sherrill pled guilty to possession of meth and was sentenced to three years in prison, which was suspended because she had no prior felony. She was placed on three years supervision, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay court costs, $125 restitution and $500 in fees. 

Defendant Gary Blake Cox pled guilty to charges of child abuse and sexual battery. On the abuse charge Cox was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with eight years suspended, and on the battery charge Cox was sentenced to five years, three suspended, with both sentences running consecutively. Cox was fined $2,000 and ordered to pay $2,800 in fees and court costs. He was also placed on five years post release supervision. 

Defendant Randall Marion Wilson pled guilty to child abuse and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but it was suspended because Wilson had no prior felony. Wilson was placed on five years supervision, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $1,400 and court fees.

Defendant John McAlister Crew pled guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor possession of a Schedule I controlled substance. Crew was credited for time served, fined $100 and ordered to pay court costs, restitution and fees totaling $585.75.

Defendant Zachary Owen Murrell pled guilty to reduced charges of two counts of sale of methamphetamine. Murrell was sentenced to 20 years in prison, 10 suspended, on one count and 20 years, all suspended, on the second count. These sentences will run consecutively along with a Lee County cause.

Murrell was placed on five years post release supervision, fined $2,000 and ordered to pay $400 restitution and $670 in fees.

 Defendant Justin Neal Sanders pled guilty to charges of fondling and sexual battery. Sanders was sentenced to 15 years, suspended, on the fondling charge and 40 years in prison, 28 suspended, on the sexual battery charge. Both sentences run consecutively. Sanders was placed on five years post release supervision, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $2,000 restitution, court costs and $800 in fees. 

Defendant Kaleb Andrew Heard pled guilty to burglary of a building, but the court withheld adjudication of guilt and imposition of sentence pending successful completion of five years probation. Heard was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $10,244.07 restitution, $700 in fees and court costs. 

Defendant Benjamin Martin Pitts pled guilty to possession of meth and was sentenced to three years in prison unless he completes one year of intensive supervision/house arrest. 

Pitts was placed on two years post release supervision, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay court costs and $500 in fees. 

Defendant Larry Poole, Jr., pled guilty to DUI fourth offense and was sentenced to 10 years in prison unless he successfully completes four years of intensive supervision/house arrest. Poole was placed on five years supervision, fined $3,000 and ordered to pay court costs and $500 in fees. Poole was ordered to have an ignition interlocking system installed in his vehicle for a term of 10 years. 

Defendant Joseph Calvin Montgomery pled guilty to charges of grand larceny and felon in possession of a weapon. Montgomery was sentenced to serve five years in prison on the grand larceny charge and 10 years on the weapon charge. These two sentences will run consecutively to each other and a third Pontotoc County cause. 

Montgomery was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $3,350 restitution, court costs and $500 in fees. 

Defendant Michael Carey Hatcher pled guilty to possession of meth and was sentenced to three years in prison. This sentence will run consecutively to two other Pontotoc County causes. Hatcher was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $$70 restitution, court costs and $500 in fees. 

Defendant Francheska LaShay Pannell pled guilty to DUI fourth offense and was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison unless she completes five years of intensive supervision/house arrest. Pannell was placed on five years post release supervion, fined $3,000 and ordered to pay court costs and $500 in fees. 

Defendant Kayla Sabrina Moody pled guilty to possession of meth, but the court withheld adjudication of guilt and imposition of sentence pending her successful completion of three years probation. Moody was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $70 restitution, court costs and $500 in fees. 

Defendant Thomas James Smith pled guilty to possession of contraband in a correctional  facility and was sentenced to 15 years in prison with 13 years suspended. Smith was placed on five years supervision, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay court costs and $500 in fees. This sentence will run consecutively to a DeSoto County cause. 

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