Man gets four years for aggravated domestic assault

Joe Wren Jr.
Staff Writer

A four-year sentence for aggravated domestic violence for a man who has six prior felony convictions sparks a question from a judge, but prosecutors say it was a good deal for both sides given the evidence in the case.
Joe Wren Jr., 45, pleaded guilty to the charge Thursday in Clay County Circuit Court.

As part of a plea bargain agreement, Judge Lee Coleman sentenced Wren to eight years with four years suspended and four to serve. Once he completes the sentence, he’ll also spend four years on post-release supervision. If he violates his probation, he could be ordered to serve the entire sentence.

He must pay $2,400 in fines and restitution, and have no contact with the victim, Star Davidson, who is his ex-wife.

He also was allowed to plead as a non-habitual offender, despite his six prior felony convictions.

Coleman went along with the agreement but not without raising questions.

“It seems like a lenient sentence to the court … I wonder why,” Coleman said to Assistant District Attorney Trina Davidson-Brooks and public defender Kristen Wood Williams.

“We’ve spoken with the victim and she is okay with this, the evidence in the case is the reason. She just wants restitution and for him not to have any contact with her,” Davidson-Brooks told the judge.

Wren could have gotten 20 years and been ordered to serve it day-for-day.

He admitted to assaulting his former wife on Sept. 1, 2016, choking her and breaking a crown on her tooth. He originally was indicted for assault and kidnapping, but the kidnapping charge was retired.

In other Circuit Court action this week:

— Steven Dale Carpenter, 30, pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. He’ll be sentenced in late March, but prosecutors are recommending nine years with five suspended and four years to serve, along with four years post-release supervision. Carpenter has two prior drug-related felony convictions. He borrowed a friend’s Ruger rifle under the excuse he wanted to use it for hunting but never returned it despite numerous requests. Investigators found out Carpenter had pawned the weapon in the fall of 2017;

— Tijuan Walker, 26, of West Point, was placed on pre-trial diversion for up to three years for grand larceny. The charge stems from the July 16, 2018, theft of a 2005 Polaris Side-by-Side four-wheeler belonging to Brad Judson. Pre-trial diversion allows him to clear his record if he meets strict conditions;

— Johneshia Lindsey, 24, of Memphis, was placed on pre-trial diversion for up to three years for trying to smuggle a small amount of marijuana into an inmate in the Clay County Jail. A corrections officer found the marijuana hidden in a deodorant container on April 19, 2018.

-- Bobby Dale Gray, 39, of Cedar Bluff, was arraigned after being indicted in October for possession of between 2 and 10 grams of methamphetamine on Oct. 5, 2017.