published Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Court Briefs: Lawyer appointed in beating death

Lawyer appointed in beating death

A 49-year-old man arrested in connection with the beating and strangling death of a 42-year-old woman in the Emma Wheeler public housing complex has been appointed an attorney and a new hearing date.

Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Bob Moon on Tuesday appointed Wendy Stanfield to represent Michael Crumpton in the criminal homicide case in the death of Virginia Godwin.

Crumpton’s preliminary hearing was rescheduled for June 21.

Witnesses told police they heard a woman screaming at the Emma Wheeler public housing complex June 7, telling Crumpton to stop. There was the sound of glass breaking.

Witnesses saw Crumpton run out of the apartment and found Godwin’s body on the floor.

A medical examiner’s report showed grapefruit-sized bruises on Godwin’s head.

Crumpton served more than 17 years in federal prison on weapons-related charges, according to federal court records.

In April, he was arrested on a charge of aggravated domestic assault after he knocked his wife’s front teeth loose, according to a Chattanooga police report. The case was dismissed when she failed to show up for court.

Hearing moved in shooting death

A Sessions Court judge Tuesday moved the preliminary hearing for the man charged in a convenience store slaying to June 28.

Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge David Bales moved the hearing for Tyrone Carmichael, 22, who faces charges of first-degree murder and unlawful weapons possession in connection with the death of 23-year-old Cordarrius Armour at the Roanoke Avenue Okie Dokie Mart on April 5.

Armour was shot in the chest and died at the store, according to police. Friends told officers that the pair had a history of confrontations.

Carmichael is being held in the Hamilton County Jail without bond.

Mathews family case delayed

A July trial in federal court for the family connected to a man charged with killing a local police sergeant has been moved to September at the request of the defendants’ attorneys.

U.S. District Judge Harry “Sandy” Mattice moved the trial date for James David Poteete and Kathleen, Rachel and Ray Vance Mathews.

The Mathewses are related to Jesse Mathews, who is being held on charges he shot and killed Chattanooga police Sgt. Tim Chapin during a botched robbery at the U.S. Money Shops on Brainerd Road.

Jesse Mathews awaits trial in Hamilton County Criminal Court. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Poteete is free on bond. The Mathews family members are in custody charged with aiding Jesse both before and after the shooting.

Man gets prison on meth charges

U.S. District Judge Harry “Sandy” Mattice sentenced Michael Goins to 30 years after the man pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams of methamphetamine from 2009 until 2010.

As part of the plea deal, Goins admitted he was guilty of the conspiracy and prosecutors dismissed the six counts of actual possession and distribution of the drug.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, drug distribution convictions carry much heavier penalties than conspiracy charges.

Bradley gets delay in civil rights case

Attorneys in a federal civil rights lawsuit against Bradley County have agreed to an extension for the county to answer allegations its courts made non-English speakers pay for interpreters.

Court records show that the county’s attorneys now have until July 5 to file a response to the allegations. The lawsuit, filed in April, had an original deadline of June 14.

The U.S. Department of Justice has maintained for at least a decade that a defendant’s right to a fair trial includes the right to interpreter services at court expense.

The lawsuit, filed by court interpreter Mark Weissenberg and Flores Vidal Enriquez, seeks to stop the county from charging defendants for interpreters and unspecified damages to Weissenberg, who claims he was not paid for his work as an interpreter.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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