CHATSWORTH — District Attorney Kermit McManus says the Sugar Valley man charged with vehicular homicide for the death of a 16-year-old girl has “manipulated the court system.”

Jeffery Glenn Gilbert, of 129 Russel Hill Road, was re-indicted in October for vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident, driving on a suspended license and bail jumping.

Gilbert is responsible for the wreck last year that killed Tesa Lawrence, the indictment states. It also states he left the scene on foot.

He did not show up for his court date in October leading to the bail-jumping charge. He was picked up on a bench warrant at his grandmother’s house in Gordon County, prosecutors said.

Assistant public defender Michael Webb said the bench warrant should be lifted, allowing Gilbert out of jail.

“I was informed the district attorney’s office would not try his case until February,” Webb said. “I told (Gilbert) that, and he thought he was released from being here on Oct. 17.”

District Attorney Kermit McManus opposed lifting the bench warrant.

“He’s manipulated the court system,” McManus said.

Gilbert, who maintains his not guilty plea, had decided to plead guilty on Oct. 3 so prosecutors did not plan to try his case, McManus said. Then Gilbert withdrew his guilty plea, which he can do according to his Constitutional rights, Webb said.

McManus said that did not leave him with enough time to plan the case for trial, leaving the court no choice but to continue Gilbert’s case until February.

“He got himself a continuance by saying he would plea, and then withdrawing it,” McManus said.

Superior Court Judge Cindy Morris said Gilbert would remain in jail until his trial in February.

Also in court,

• The 18-year-old accused of stabbing his mother’s boyfriend eight times was denied bond for the third time Wednesday.

Kevin Ryan Perry, of 2097 McEntire Circle, Chatsworth, is charged with aggravated assault for stabbing Billy Mitchell.

Perry’s attorney Richard Murray and assistant district attorney Scott Minter agree Perry stabbed Mitchell. Murray claims it is “a clear case of self defense,” while Minter says eight times is too many to be self defense.

Murray said Wednesday the victim’s story has changed.

Perry’s mother, Melissa Perry, and Mitchell recently went through a custody case in civil court for the children they have together.

During that hearing, Mitchell testified Melissa Perry was an unfit mother for their children because she aided her son in the stabbing by holding Mitchell’s arms back, Murray said.

Minter said that information has remained the same throughout.

“During the first interview after he came home from the hospital, Billy Mitchum told investigator (Kevin) Caylor at the beginning that Melissa Perry held him so Kevin could stab him,” he said. “So the story has not changed. He is terrified by Kevin.”

Murray also said Kevin Perry would not have any contact with the family if he were released on bond.

His aunt who lives in Cleveland, Tenn., would give him a place to live and a job, Murray said.

“He would not have any contact with the community,” Murray said.

Judge Morris denied bond saying she did not want to release Perry to live in another state.

“I’m still concerned about the family issue,” she said. “I am going to leave things as they are.”

• Judge Morris denied reducing the bond of the Chatsworth man charged with setting fire to the Chief Vann Motel from $50,000 to $25,000.

Michael Levinson, of the Adco Motel, is charged with arson in the first degree.

Webb said Levinson has only been in trouble with the law one other time and should be let out on bond. Levinson served time for a burglary charge in Florida in 1998, he said.

Minter said he thinks Levinson “is a danger. He’s committed a crime before, and everyone who was living (at the Chief Vann Motel) is being taken care of by the Red Cross.”

Morris said she thinks $50,000 “is a reasonable amount” for an arson charge.

• Carolyn Beck, no address available, pleaded guilty to theft by taking. She was originally charged with robbery and burglary.

She was sentenced to 10 years probation; to pay a $100 fine, court costs, surcharges and probation fees; to 100 hours community service; to pay $1,124 in restitution; and to stay away from the victim.

• Michael Jason Bowers, no address available, pleaded guilty to terroristic threats and possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. He was sentenced as a first offender for the terroristic threats charge to five years probation; to pay a $1,000 fine, court costs, surcharges and probation fees; to 100 hours community service; and to attend a family violence intervention program. He was sentenced to the marijuana charge to 12 months probation to run concurrent.

As a first offender if he successfully completes his probation, he will not have a felony on his record. If he does not, he could be resentenced up to the maximum of five years.

• Lagonda Gay Bryant, 34, 33 Mountain View St., Dalton, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine and driving on a suspended license. She was sentenced on the methamphetamine charge to five years, to spend 90 days in jail and the rest on probation; to pay a $1,500 fine, court costs, surcharges and probation fees; to 300 hours community service; to attend alcohol and drug counseling and to random drug screenings. She was sentenced for the suspended license charge to 12 months probation to run concurrent. A DUI and no proof of insurance charge were dropped.

• Tommy Edward Key, 37, 445 Sagamore Drive, Tunnel Hill, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana and giving false information to law enforcement officials.

He was sentenced on the methamphetamine charge to 10 years, with 120 days in jail and the rest on probation; to pay a $1,500 fine, court costs, surcharges and probation fees; to 300 hours community service; to attend alcohol and drug counseling; and to random drug screening. On the other two charges he was sentenced to 12 months probation to run concurrent.

• Laura Orr, no address available, pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a prescription drug while being kept in the Murray County Jail.

Prosecutors say another inmate smuggled the drugs into the jail.

Orr was sentenced to five years in prison to run concurrent with any probation sentence in Whitfield County.

• Rodney Glenn Pulliam, 35, 1172 Refuge Road, Ellijay, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine. He was sentenced to five years, with 90 days in jail and the rest on probation; to pay a $1,500 fine, court costs, surcharges and probation fees; to 300 hours community service; to attend alcohol and drug counseling and to random drug screenings.

• Tracy James Roach, no address available, pleaded guilty to DUI and driving on a suspended license. He was sentenced to serve 12 months in jail on each count to run concurrently.

• Johnny Mac Young, no address available, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine. He was sentenced to two years in prison.

A possession of tools for the commission of a crime charge was dismissed.



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