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YEAR IN REVIEW 2015: February

Second Vina teacher reaches plea deal

More than a year after his arrest, a former Vina High School teacher reached a plea agreement Feb. 6, stemming from his charges. Brian Scott Keeton, 38, Carbon Hill, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and also agreed to have no contact with the victim or her family as well as to never teach again. Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing said the victim and her family got everything they were seeking in the agreement.

Keeton had been sentenced to four years in prison stemming from charges of having sexual intercourse with a student under 19 years of age while being a school employee, which was a felony. Rushing said this case was a bit more difficult than the previous case involving a former VHS employee. “It involved only one charge, there was a different circumstance with the evidence that was available, and Keeton did not offer a confession like the other case … We thought it would be a difficult case if it went to court,” Rushing said.

Keeton’s four-year prison sentence was suspended, and he was placed on three years’ supervised probation. He also signed over his teaching certificate, which bars him from ever teaching again.

The alleged event took place during 2013. According to officials, Keeton had been in contact with the victim since the summer of that year before allegedly having a sexual encounter in October. Keeton resigned both his teaching and coaching positions in February 2014.

 

Drug sting nets ten across county

The Franklin County Drug Unit assisted by Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies and Russellville police officers conducted an early morning roundup Feb. 11. Ten people were arrested on various drug related charges stemming from grand jury indictments and felony warrants.

Those arrested were Denise Terry Miller, 43, of Phil Campbell; Karla Laraye Watson, 40, of Russellville; Howard Ray Trapp Sr., 65, of Phil Campbell; John Randall Scott, 54, of Russellville; Marsha Dean Pruitt-Bey, 38, of Russellville; Steven Dewayne Pounders, 44, of Spruce Pine; Rayburn Carl Nix, 65, of Spruce Pine; Samuel Lewis Hillman II, 42, of Russellville; Tammy Sue Bell, 35, of Russellville; Jeremy Wayne Tucker, 39, of Russellville.

Denise Terry Miller was charged with possession of a controlled substance. Karla Laraye Watson was charged with four counts of distribution of a controlled substance. Howard Ray Trapp Sr., was charged with two counts of distribution of a controlled substance. John Randall Scott was charged with manufacturing a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Marsha Dean Pruitt-Bey was charged with distribution of a controlled substance. Steven Dewayne Pounders was charged with manufacturing a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Rayburn Carl Nix was charged with possession of a controlled substance. Samuel Lewis Hillman II was charged with distribution of a controlled substance and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Tammy Sue Bell was charged with manufacturing a controlled substance and drug trafficking. Jeremy Wayne Tucker was charged with distribution of a controlled substance.

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