Judge hands down 10 year sentence

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, September 7, 2011


NATCHEZ — A Natchez man arrested in connection with one of Adams County’s largest suspected drug dealers received a harsher sentence from Judge Lillie Blackmon Sanders on Tuesday than his cohort did last week.

Keimon C. Brice, 33, 2-A Crown Court, was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to simple possession of 30 grams of cocaine with intent to distribute. Brice was arrested during a Metro Narcotics raid at Steven A. Woods’ residence last July.

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Brice’s 10-year sentence comes only five days after Woods was allowed to walk free after his 25-year sentence was suspended to five years of supervised probation and five years of unsupervised probation

Brice faced charges of acting in concert with possession of more than 30 grams of cocaine with intent to distribute, acting in concert for the possession and intent to distribute marijuana and acting in concert for the possession and intent to distribute promethazine with codeine. The second and third counts were dropped.

Brice told Sanders that he was confused by some of her questions about what exactly took place on the morning of the raid on July 30, 2010. Brice repeatedly said he knew there were drugs at Woods’ residence, but he said he did not realize the “quantity” of the drugs.

“You knew exactly what was going on,” Sanders said to Brice. “Don’t play games with me.”

Brice’s attorney, Anthony Heidelberg, attempted to clarify statements made by Brice about the events surrounding his arrest.

“Don’t make him lie anymore,” Sanders said.

Brice faced a maximum of 30 years in prison. He will serve two consecutive sentences of the time remaining on his parole of a prior sentence plus the 10 years he received on Tuesday.

Also in court on Tuesday was Wharlest Jackson Jr., 53, of 9 Matthew St. The court accepted a non-adjudication plea after Jackson initially entered a guilty plea for grand larceny stemming from his arrest in October 2010.

Jackson was arrested after he was suspected of stealing copper wire that was the property of AT&T and four transformers valued at $350 each belonging to Southwest Mississippi Electric Power Association.

Non-adjudication is the process of allowing a first-time, nonviolent defendant to complete certain conditions and avoid a conviction on their record.

Jackson’s attorney, Carmen Brooks, said police came to Jackson’s property without a search warrant, took pictures of the transformers and returned them to Southwest EPA.

Jackson said he observed the transformers on the side of the road in a ditch and thought they were broken and abandoned.

Southwest EPA requested restitution in the amount of $1,400 for damages to the transformers while they were in Jackson’s possession.

The conditions of Jackson’s plea as set by Sanders are that Jackson stay out of trouble, pay full court costs, prosecution fees and $1,300 restitution to AT&T.

Sanders said no restitution for Southwest EPA would be ordered because the company could not prove that the transformers were not damaged prior to being taken by Jackson.