Cocke County man sentenced to five years in car thefts

A Cocke County felon named Mark Hogate, who stole cars, motorcycles and motorcycle parts during multiple forays into South Hamblen County over several months, has been sentenced to five years in prison. The amount of restitution Hogate owes will be tallied and detailed in a court order by mid-December, according to court documents.

During an appearance in Hamblen County Criminal Court last week, Hogate, 39, pleaded guilty to theft over $10,000, three other counts of felony theft, home burglary, aggravated criminal trespassing, burglary, vandalism and setting fire to personal property, a 1964 Cadillac hearse that was found burning under a bridge on Spencer Hale Road.

The hearse belonged to Hamblen County resident Steve Anderson, who at the time of Hogate’s arrest was serving time for violation of probation related to a chop-shop operation.

Hogate, who was fined $1,150, also stole two Harley Davidson motorcycles from Anderson’s property off Spencer Hale Road, according to Detective George Sauceman with the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department, who initially placed Anderson’s loss at $37,000.

Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes triggered the Hamblen County investigation when he reported he believed property recovered in Cocke County was stolen here. Hogate was identified as a suspect after Cocke County authorities followed a trail of motor oil that was leading from a stolen tractor to Hogate’s home, Sauceman said.

Once again, crystal meth figured prominently in the pleas and sentencing’s that occurred in Hamblen County Criminal Court. Most received probationary of probation-like sentences.

Ronald Dale Jones, 68, was sentenced to eight years in state prison after he pleaded guilty to felony and simple possession of meth, felony possession of a Schedule IV drug, casual exchange of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and multiple driving-related charges.

Jones, like most others will be parole-eligible after serving 30 percent of his sentence. He was fined $6,220.

Another exception was Nichole Leigh Bryant, however, was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of sale or delivery of methamphetamine. Bryant, 26, was fined $4,000.

Robert Lee Audette III, a 38-year old Hamblen County man who was convicted of third-degree rape – an offense similar to statutory rape – and sexual exploitation of a minor in New York in 2002, pleaded guilty to four counts of violating the state sex offender registry law.

Criminal Court Judge John F. Dugger Jr. sentenced Audette to serve at lease 180 days of a three-year sentence. Audette also was fined $1,400. Audette did not notify authorities when he lost a job, nor did he report when he moved to Hamblen County. After moving to Hawkins County, he was living with a man who is also a convicted sex offender, according to authorities.

Steven Tyler Newman, a 26-year-old man indicted for theft over $2,500, received a judicial diversion. If he remains offense-free for two years, the blemish could be expunged from his record.

The others who pleaded guilty and the resolution of their case are:

Edward Carl Burnett, 61, felony possession of meth and simple possession of a controlled substance; 9 years supervised probation; $2,825 fine.

Joe Allen Gibson, 40, felony possession of meth and resisting arrest; 10 years community corrections; $2,000 fine.

Abigail Rose Ware, 38, felony possession of meth and marijuana; 10 years supervised probation; $4,000 fine;

Matthew Heath Nicodemus, 52, felony possession of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia; eight years community corrections; $2,225 fine.

Michael Shawn Spears, 36, delivery of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia; four years community corrections; $2,225 fine.

Dustin Lynn Parrott, 34, felony possession of marijuana, simple possession of meth and introducing contraband into a penal institution; eight years community corrections; $3,325 fine.

Frank Athens Goble, 41, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of drug paraphernalia; two years supervised probation; $1,100 fine.

Amos Nathaniel Houchins, 37, simple possession of meth, casual exchange of a drug and possession of drug paraphernalia; 11 months, 29 days supervised probation; $1,875 fine.

Joseph Frank Long, 35, simple possession of meth and a Schedule IV drug and possession of drug paraphernalia; 11 months, 29 days supervised probation; $1,875 fine.

Cissy Dee Thurman, 37, simple possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia; 11 months, 29 days supervised probation, $2,225 fine.

Craig Earl Baker, 41, simple possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia; 11 months, 29 days supervised probation; $1,050 fine.

Stephen Lynn Brown, 47, two counts of writing worthless checks; 11 months, 29 days supervised probation;

Karen Sue Brown, 53, two counts writing a worthless check; 11 months, 29 days supervised probation.

Melinda Rife, 41, theft under $1,000; 11 months, 29 days supervised probation.