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Teenager sentenced to prison



By KELI JACOBI News-Times Staff Judge Hamilton H. Singleton sentenced a Union County teenager to 40 years in prison Tuesday following a bench trial in which the defendant was found guilty of drug charges and probation violations.
Willis Johnson, 19, faced the new charges less than a month after being sentenced to 36 months probation on similar charges in Union County Circuit Court. Charges of probation violations were fi led earlier this year after Johnson was found lying naked in a local motel room surrounded by drugs and drug paraphernalia following the execution of a search warrant by Union County Investigators, according to testimony at the defendant’s bench trial.
"There’s a bit of irony in the fact they found your probation papers in the room," the judge told Johnson. "Clearly what you were doing violates those terms."
Johnson’s sentence is as follows: 10 years in prison for possessing marijuana and cocaine, 10 years in prison for possessing drug paraphernalia and 20 years in prison on theft of property charges. Singleton ordered the prison terms to run consecutively for a total effective sentence of 40 years.
Johnson was also assessed court costs and attorney’s fees totaling $400.
Other sentences imposed on Tuesday included: • John Anthony Holmes, 34, to fi ve years in the Arkansas Department of Correction after pleading true to probation violations, stemming from charges of aggravated assault on a family member and criminal mischief in the fi rst degree. He was assessed court costs and attorney’s fees of $150 each.
• John M. Desso, 20, to fi ve years in the ADC after pleading true to probation violations, stemming from charges of aggravated assault on a family member and criminal mischief in the fi rst degree. He was assessed court costs and attorney’s fees of $150 each.
• Benjamin Turner, 42, to fi ve years in the ADC following a bench trial in which he was found guilty of violations of his suspended imposition of sentence. He was originally sentenced to SIS on aggravated assault charges and possession of a fi rearm by a certain person. He was assessed court costs and attorney’s fees of $150 each.
• Charles B. Atkinson, 42, to fi ve years in the ADC after pleading true to probation violations, stemming from charges of theft of property and forgery. He was assessed court costs and attorney’s fees of $150 each.
• Joshua Anderson, 23, to a fi ve year extension of proba tion after pleading true to probation violations, stem ming from charges of crimi nal mischief. He was assessed court costs and attorney’s fees of $150 each. He was ordered to serve two years in the Com munity Corrections Center as a condition of probation or 120 days in county jail, should he violate the terms of proba tion again.

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