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Man pleads to reduced charges in case with minor

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By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - A man originally charged with rape charges entered a guilty plea recently with most of the allegations dismissed.

Randall G. Franks Jr. entered a plea on a single count of unlawful transaction with a minor.

The five-year sentence will be probated for five years. He must have no contact with the victim or the immediate family. He must also perform 100 hours of community service.

Defense attorney Rebecca Murrell said the case was negotiated with the victim and family members.

Basically, she said her client permitted a minor to disobey her parents.

Commonwealth’s attorney Michael Mann said the victim and her parents addressed the court during the guilty plea. He said they were agreeable with the resolution and that it would be in the best interest of the child.

Circuit Judge Rodney Burress said he was concerned with the severity of the charges and the plea agreement. However, he agreed to follow the wishes of the victim and her family.

In the indictment, Franks was charged with forcing a minor to have sexual intercourse between the summer of 2008 and November 2009. Those original charges carried a prison sentence of 20 years to life.

In other recent cases:

*Joseph Howard Blanford III, 44, of Hillview, entered a guilty plea to manufacturing methamphetamine.

Blanford would receive a 10-year sentence to run consecutively with a 10-year sentence he received last year.

Since he would not be eligible for probation on the 20-year sentence, the matter was resolved during the guilty plea portion of the proceedings.

*John L. Witham, 32, of Louisville, entered a guilty plea to burglary and assault charges.

According to testimony presented, Witham broke into his former wife’s home and assaulted someone in the residence.

The plea agreement would allow him to serve 90 days in jail scheduled around work shutdowns. He would also pay restitution of over $2,000 within 90 days. 

The 10-year sentence would be probated for five years.

Final sentencing will be on May 10.

*Jason Burris entered a guilty plea to facilitation to manufacture methamphetamine.

His five-year sentence will be diverted for five years. He must obtain his GED during the diversion period and he must serve 200 hours of community service.

*Jesse Jones III entered a guilty plea to unlawful distribution of a methamphetamine precursor.

The two-year sentence would be diverted for three years but he must serve 20 days in the county jail.

He would also have to perform 75 hours of community service.

*Thomas Frederick Bryant Jr. entered a guilty plea to flagrant non-support.

He would have his three-year sentence diverted for that same period of time.

He would be responsible for paying $8,625 in restitution for back child support at a rate of $100 a month, plus his current support payments.

*Ronald Leon Glass Jr., 35, of Louisville, entered a guilty plea on information revolving around an Oct. 4, 2010, case.

Glass entered a plea to possession of a controlled substance.

He would receive a two-year sentence that would be probated for three years. He would also have to serve 60 days in jail.

Final sentencing will be on April 25.

*Christopher Shawn Lucas, 21, of Shepherdsville, entered a guilty plea on information dealing with a Jan. 31, 2011, case.

Lucas entered a plea to possession of a controlled substance.

His five-year sentence would be diverted for five years. He must also complete the Bullitt County Drug Court program.

Final sentencing will be on April 25.

*Michael Mutter will serve 145 days and be probated for the rest of his five-year sentence on the charges of assault and driving under the influence.

He received an eight-year sentence on the assault charge.

He would have his driver’s license suspended for 120 days and can then only operate his vehicle to go to and from work and only during the daylight hours. He must also complete 100 hours of community service.

*Hope McClain entered a guilty plea on the charge of unlawful possession of a meth precursor. She had a one-year sentence probated for five years.

She also paid a $1,000 fine and must do 100 hours of community service.

*Jessica Dennison entered a guilty plea to complicity to burglary and complicity to theft by unlawful taking under $500.

She was sentenced to five years but that would be diverted for five years.

She will complete 200 hours of community service and pay restitution of $585 at a rate of $50 per month.

*Stuart Noe entered a guilty plea to possession of a controlled substance and being a persistent felony offender.

The sentence was set at eight years and he was not eligible for probation.

*Johnny Tarter was sentenced to five years for failing to register as a sex offender.

*Timothy O’Brien entered a plea to unlawful distribution of a methamphetamine precursor.

His five-year sentence was diverted for five years. He must complete 100 hours of community service.

*Jeremy Browning entered a guilty plea for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

He was given a one-year sentence on that case but nothing will be imposed until another case is settled in May.