July 24, 2015
RANDY E. WOODS, d/o/b 7-04-1965, of Powersite, Missouri, was sentenced to three (3) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections on Thursday, July 23, 2015, for two (2) class C felonies of passing a bad check. Taney County Circuit Court Judge Laura Johnson sentenced Woods to two (2) concurrent three (3) year terms in prison, pursuant to a plea agreement between Woods and the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office.
In July and August of 2014, Woods passed a check to a local merchant and a check to an individual on a closed bank account, in sums totaling over $1,500.00. Woods was ordered to pay restitution to the victims as a condition of his release – in the event he is granted parole from the Missouri Department of Corrections.
July 23, 2015
On Thursday, July 23, 2015, Taney County Circuit Court Judge Laura Johnson sentenced Jacob “Jake” Kemp, d/o/b 1-29-1994, of Branson, to fifteen (15) years in prison for two (2) class A felonies of robbery in the first degree. Each of those sentences are to run concurrently with one another. Kemp’s sentences are for robberies committed several hours apart on September 20, 2013, at two (2) different Wal-Mart locations in Branson. Kemp showed clerks a prop gun that appeared to be a functioning pistol during the robberies.
Kemp entered the guilty pleas on April 16, 2015, pursuant to a plea agreement with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office. The plea agreement called for the prosecutor to argue for twenty (20) years on each count, while the defendant could argue for any sentence, including probation. The plea agreement called for the sentences to be concurrent with one another.
At Thursday’s sentencing, defendant’s lawyer argued to the court that Kemp should be placed on probation. The State, represented by Taney County Prosecutor Jeff Merrell, pointed out to the court that Kemp was on probation when he committed these robberies and argued for twenty-year sentences.
June 24, 2015
On Wednesday morning, June 24, 2015, DANIEL TYLER BROWN, d/o/b 1-14-1987, of Branson, was sentenced to fifteen (15) years in prison for several felonies, including assault in the second degree, resisting arrest, and leaving the scene of an accident – to name a few. Brown had entered a guilty plea to six (6) felonies on February 19, 2015, before Taney County Circuit Judge Laura Johnson. Sentencing was heard Wednesday, via closed-caption video, because Brown is currently in the custody of the Missouri Department of Corrections for a parole violation. Judge Johnson sentenced Brown to fifteen (15) years for two (2) counts of assault in the second degree, seven (7) years for two (2) counts of resisting arrest or detention, seven (7) years for one count of leaving the scene of an accident, and fifteen (15) years for one count of assault on a law enforcement officer in the second degree. All of those sentences were ordered to run concurrently with one another.
On the late-afternoon of October 23, 2014, Taney County deputies were dispatched to an assault on Red Oak Road, in Merriam Woods, where it was reported one man was pointing a gun at another man. Before officers could arrive at that location, Brown drove away in a black Dodge truck. When officers attempted to detain the truck – operated by Brown – the truck sped away, rather than yielding to officers. A lengthy pursuit ensued, during which Brown crashed the Dodge truck into another pickup, injuring someone, as well as crashing into a Taney County patrol vehicle that was pursuing Brown. Eventually, with cooperation between Branson Police, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and the Taney County Sheriff’s Office, Brown was apprehended near Wal-Mart on Branson Hills Parkway.
Brown was charged by the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office as a prior and persistent felony offender, because of multiple prior felony convictions.
June 23, 2015
A Taney County jury found DONALD C. BILLINGS, d/o/b 4-13-1966, of Kirbyville, guilty of the class D felony of driving while intoxicated, on Tuesday, June 23, 2015. The nine-woman, three-man jury deliberated for just less than one hour before arriving at the unanimous verdict. Chief Assistant Prosecutor Tiffany Yarnell tried the case for the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office.
Billings was arrested by a Trooper with the Missouri State Highway Patrol for driving while intoxicated, on May 4, 2013. Billings crashed a Nissan Altima into some trees after failing to negotiate a curve on Missouri Highway 76, near Delaware Road. Neither Billings, nor his passenger were seriously injured. Billings refused field sobriety tests and tried to convince the Trooper that he was not driving the vehicle. However, eye witnesses observed Billings exiting the driver’s seat of the car immediately after the crash. Billings admitted that he had been drinking, but refused to give a sample of his breath or blood to the Trooper.
Circuit Court Judge Laura Johnson scheduled sentencing for Billings for August 13, 2015. The class D felony of driving while intoxicated carries a maximum penalty of four (4) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a $5,000.00 fine. Billings was charged with the class D felony because he had previously pleaded guilty to two (2) prior DWIs in Taney County, making Billings a persistent DWI offender.
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