Panola grand jury indicts seven on drug charges 8/5/2014

Panola grand jury indicts seven on drug charges

By John Howell

Grand jury indictments handed down in Panola’s Second Court District included at least seven people who had been arrested on drug charges stemming from alleged sales or possession marijuana and cocaine. 

Elliot Bernard Andrews was indicted for the Feb. 7 sale of less than 30 grams of marijuana and for being a felon in possession of a handgun.

Andrews was also indicted as an habitual offender, having been convicted in 2006 for sale of cocaine and for shooting into an occupied dwelling and also for the sale of 30 grams of marijuana but less than one kilogram, in 2010.

Thirty grams of marijuana is about one ounce. A kilogram is about 2.2 pounds.

Attorney Tommy Defer, representing Corey Kenral Henderson of Crowder, worked out with assistant district attorney Jay Hale a negotiated plea of guilty that allowed Henderson to plead guilty to one count of sale of less than two grams of cocaine, one count as an habitual offender and one count as recidivist offender.

A defendant determined to be an habitual offender, having convicted of two or more felony crimes previously, is sentenced the maximum amount of time allowed by law for the charge.

A defendant determined to be a recidivist offender can receive a sentence twice the maximum time for the crime and fined twice the maximum amount stated set by the Mississippi Legislature.

Henderson had previously been convicted of sale of cocaine in Panola County in 2005 and possession of cocaine in Tallahatchie County the same year.

Circuit Judge Smith Murphy ordered Henderson to serve six years’ incarceration with 10 years probation to follow. The judge ordered Henderson to pay fines and restitution of $1,225 with additional $4,500 in fines suspended. 

Therix Andrea Johnson, 43, was indicted for the alleged April 11 sale of cocaine, less than two grams. Grand jurors returned a second indictment on Johnson as a recidivist offender, citing a 1989 conviction for possession of cocaine with intent to sell.

Tabatha Danyelle Pittman, 33, of Batesville, entered a not guilty plea July 21, following her indictment in April for an incident alleging that she was in possession of Oxycodone, less than 10 dosage units, on Dec. 21, 2013.

Pittman was also indicted as a recidivist offender, based on a 2009 conviction in Southaven for possession of paraphernalia. In an appearance before Judge Murphy on June 16, bail was set at $6,133.

Arthur Demarion Pollard entered a plea of not guilty to two counts of sale of marijuana, less than 30 grams. Both sales were allegedly made in January.

Jackson attorney Ottawa E. Carter Jr. has filed a motion for a speedy trial for Trendale Aaron Bland Jr., indicted in April for two counts of sale of marijuana, less than 30 grams. Both sales are alleged to have occurred in January.

For possession of more than .1 gram but less than two grams, Eric Lashaun Williams, 35, of Batesville will serve 16 years. Williams was arrested with cocaine in January and also charged as a recidivist offender from a previous conviction in 1999 for sale of cocaine.

Judge Murphy’s order stipulated that Williams’ incarceration would be served concurrent to an additional conviction in 2013.

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