A Morristown-based Honduran man facing a long time in state prison for having paid sex with girls, ages 13 and 15, has resolved his case in Hamblen County Criminal Court in a way that limits his prison time and will expedite his near-term return to his native country, officials say.
Jose Alexander Vigil Garcia, 29, was facing between eight and 12 years behind bars because of the age of the youngest girl he paid for sex, according to Paul Whetstone, the defendant’s attorney who says patronizing such a young prostitute can be prosecuted as a human-trafficking offense.
By pleading guilty to attempted patronizing prostitution, along with aggravated statutory rape and agreeing to serve 100 percent of a three-year sentence, Garcia avoided exposure to a lot more time. Whetstone says his client has already served most of the sentence, and will be eligible for release – and certain deportation – very soon.
Garcia resolved his criminal case on Monday, as did other defendants.
Amy Barbee, a 36-year-old Morristown woman who was facing years behind bars for selling crystal meth on two occasions, avoided incarceration on Tuesday, but she’ll have to remain offense-free for 11 years to avoid serving the remainder of the time behind bars.
She will participate in the probation-like community-corrections program. She still must pay the $4,000 fine associated with the two drug-sales convictions.
Jeffery Allen Trent, a 49-year-old man indicted for selling oxycodone, caught a break when he was allowed to plead guilty to casual exchange. Trent will be on supervised probation for 11 months and 29 days, and must pay a $225 fine.
A convicted felon who admitted illegally possessing a firearm and possessing a small amount of marijuana, Deandrew Antonio Dowdell, 29, was given a three-year probationary sentence. Dowdell, who also pleaded guilty to vandalism, was fined $100 for the firearm offense.
The others who resolved their cases and the outcomes are:
Billy Joe Patrick, 53, and Anetta Renea Patrick, 48, theft over $1,000; judicial diversion; one year supervised probation; $5,667 restitution to County Bonding Company;
Leslie H. Lee, 52, second offense DUI, driving on a revoked license and violation of the registration law; 60 days; $775 fine;
Marla Taylor, 45, theft under $1,000; 30 days of an 11-month, 29-day sentence; $100 fine;
Kenneth D. Travis III, 36, theft over $1,000; two years and one day supervised probation; $3,450 restitution to Morristown Ford;
Pattie Joe Norton, 56, reckless endangerment, 11 months, 29 days supervised probation; $100 fine;
Jacob Colby Trent, 31, attempted theft; no jail time; $72.95 restitution to Walmart.