Judge with gavel

There was almost a plea deal Tuesday afternoon in Circuit Court . . . and then it was off. Nelson McLain appeared before Judge Dal Williamson in a plea arrangement around 2:00 p.m. on a burglary charge.

When the judge asked him if he wanted to enter a plea of guilt, McLain said, “I believe I do; I didn’t break into that house.”

McLain added that he had been going to the house for years and believed that he had permission to enter it.

Attorney Michael Mitchell asked McLain to stop talking, but it was too late. Judge Williamson rescinded the plea deal by saying, “You can’t take a plea and tell me you didn’t do it. We will have a trial.”

McLain’s trial was reset for August 6.

The judge did approve an order releasing Melissa Leggett to post-release supervision. She was facing a possession of a controlled substance charge, which was related to another crime she has already served time for. The judge warned her that her case could go back on the trail docket if she didn’t fulfill the requirements of the post-release supervision.

Steven Melton III appeared before the Court on a bench warrant Tuesday afternoon. He had been admitted to a pretrial intervention program a couple of months back after being charged with possession of a controlled substance, but he allegedly showed up for community service in an intoxicated state, said authorities. Judge Williamson removed Melton from the pretrial intervention program and scheduled his trial date for September 4. His new bond was set at $5,000.

Dontez Keyes of Jefferson Davis County received a suspended sentence of three years plus fines totaling over $1,400.00 and community service for possession of a small amount of methamphetamine. His charge stemmed from a checkpoint related stop in Ellisville.

The Circuit Court also had a busy schedule Monday in Ellisville with the judge accepting a number of pleas and resetting trial dates. One case involved a former Laurel fire fighter. James Lindsey Jr., who has spent 12 years working with the Laurel Fire Department, appeared before the judge on a charge of possession of a controlled substance, which was 14 dosage units of oxycodone and acetaminophen, and for which he did not have a prescription.

He was arrested back in September 2018 in connection with the charge. Lindsey had no previous misdemeanor or felony convictions. Lindsey was given three years of probation, ordered to perform community service, and fined $667.50. If his case had gone before a jury, he faced up to eight years in prison.

“Don’t repeat this,” said Judge Williamson. “You won’t get this kind of deal again.”

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