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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Cocke Circuit Court
In Cocke County Circuit Court this week, Judge Carter Moore imposed a sentence in the case of Matthew Antonio Stewart, who earlier had entered a plea to a charge of aggravated statutory rape. In July, 2017, Stewart,32, Merkler Way, Newport, became involved with a 16 year-old female he met on a social media site. The girl provided a dote of birth which indicated she was not a minor. Judge Moore had previously accepted a plea to the charge, and imposed a four year sentence, but scheduled a hearing for Tuesday to determine how the sentence should be served. Asst. Prosecutor Mark Strange read a statement in which the girl said she was given alcohol "and was used for sex." She went on to say she has suffered from the impact of the sexual relationship including the fear of being alone. Strange asked the court to order the defendant to serve the sentence, saying that is the wish of the victim. But Defense Attorney Barry Valentine pointed out that the victim had an on-line profile which portrayed her as a 21 years-old. The attorney added that the defendant does not have issues with drugs or alcohol, has a full-time job and has a supportive family. "This was aberrant behavior for Mr. Stewart," he told the court. The defendant also gave a statement in which he expressed remorse for the incident. The court ordered the defendant to serve a 45 day term in jail with the balance of the sentence on probation. Valentine then announced he will appeal the decision, and Stewart remains free on bond. Judge Moore also accepted guilty pleas from several defendants. Bradley Gag Ramsey, 27, Old Newport Highway, Dandridge pleaded guilty to three counts aggravated burglary, three counts theft over $1,000 and vandalism over $1,000. he was ordered to serve a five year sentence, make restitution of $5,200 and is restrained from the victims and their properties. Derrick Robinson, 30, Travis Way, Newport pleaded guilty to two counts theft over $1,000 and failure to0 appear for a court hearing. The court ordered Robinson to serve one year of a four year sentence with the balance on supervised probation. He also will make restitution. Andrew Loveday, 31, Oak Ridge entered pleas to resolve his eight pending cases. He entered pleas to two counts burglary of a building, six counts theft, two counts aggravated burglary, aggravated assault, failure to render aid, fraudulent use of a credit card, two counts failure to appear for a court hearing and driving on a revoked license. The charges stemmed from burglaries involving Cocke County Parks and Recreation and Cosby Church of God, and the assault of Christine Fish. Loveday was given a five year sentence, will serve one year in jail and attend a drug rehabilitation program. Eric Campbell, 44, Humane Way, Newport, entered guilty pleas to two counts theft over $2,500 and theft over $1,000. He was ordered to serve four years on supervised probation and make restitution of more than $11,000.

Return to Today's News Stories - Front Page

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

  • House approves voucher bill
  • Newport City Council special meeting
  • Newport Utilities
  • Drug take-back

    Tuesday, April 23, 2019

  • Six injured in crash
  • Cocke Finance Committee
  • Cocke County grand jury
  • Legislative action

    Monday, April 22, 2019

  • Cocke County flooding
  • Tennessee jobs
  • NFL draft coming to Nashville
  • Earth Day
  • Sturgein release

    Saturday, April 20, 2019

  • Turner arrest
  • Southerland report
  • Unemployment in Tennessee
  • Mueller report

    Friday, April 19, 2019

  • TDOT projects
  • Cocke County Partnership
  • Voucher plan may be stalled

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