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Man gets 20 years on drug charges

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By Calen McKinney

A judge has upheld the sentence of a man who turned down an offer of probation in favor of a jury trial in which he was found guilty.

Danny Dale Burress, 49, of 4450 Speck Ridge Road in Campbellsville appeared before Taylor Circuit Court Judge Doughlas M. George last Tuesday for sentencing. George upheld the jury's recommendation of 20 years.

In November, Burress faced a jury on charges of second-degree selling hydrocodone, his second offense, and being a second-degree persistent felony offender.

According to court records, Burress was accused of selling hydrocodone pills to a confidential informant used by local law enforcement.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney John Miller, the prosecutor in the case, said in November that Burress' case has been ongoing since 2004.

Miller said Burress had been offered a plea agreement amending the charge of second-degree selling hydrocodone - which is a Class C felony punishable by five to 10 years in prison - to a misdemeanor offense.

Because the offense was Burress' second and he was charged with being a persistent felony offender, the sentence a jury could recommend was enhanced.

Miller said the plea agreement Burress declined stated that Burress would have received two years' probation in exchange for a guilty plea to the misdemeanor offense. He said the plea agreement would have included no jail time.

After the trial, Miller said he was pleased with the jury's verdict.

"I think it sent a message to the community that drug trafficking won't be tolerated in Campbellsville and Taylor County," Miller said. "And I think that's the right message to send."

Miller said Burress will have to serve at least 20 percent - or four years - of the 20-year sentence before he can become eligible for parole.

This wasn't the first time Burress has faced a jury on the charges against him.

Burress' case originally went to trial in April. However, the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict, and George declared a mistrial.

Local attorney Tim Berry Falls represented Burress. He declined to comment.

Also on Dec. 18, Burress filed an appeal of his 20-year prison sentence. An attorney from the Department of Public Advocacy in Frankfort has been appointed to represent him.

On Friday, Miller said he is confident Burress' appeal will be not be successful.

"Detective David Tucker did an excellent job in handling this case as did the Campbellsville Police Department," he said. "The trial of this matter was conducted in an appropriate manner and Judge George ruled on various evidentiary matters in a way to protect Mr. Burress' rights. The jury considered the evidence, found Mr. Burress guilty and through his sentencing sent an appropriate message to drug traffickers, which was this conduct will not be tolerated in Taylor County."

Court records also list Burress' address as 4450 Speck Ridge Road in Elk Horn.

Also on George's docket:

- Bradley C. Allen, 30, of 637 W. Ratcliff Road in W. Terre Haute, Ind. completed the terms of his diversion and had a theft charge against him dismissed.

In December 2004, Allen pleaded guilty to theft by deception more than $300. At that time, Allen was granted a three-year pretrial diversion and ordered to pay $1,743.21 in restitution.

Court records also list his address as 1646 Spruce in Terre Haute, Ind. and 109 S. Public Square in Greensburg.

- Betty Marie Beard aka Betty Marie Horton, 38, of 106B Carden St. had a stolen property charge against her dismissed.

In October, Beard was indicted on a charge of receiving more than $300 in stolen property along with co-defendants Gary Wayne Beard, 47, also of 106B Carden St. in Campbellsville, and Adam Edwards, 19, and Anthony Horton, 23, both of 1346 Taylor Ford Road in Columbia. Gary Beard was also charged with being a second-degree persistent felony offender.

According to a Campbellsville Police report, the four were accused of stealing five head of cattle from a Columbia farm.

The charges against Betty Beard were dismissed, according to court records, because the prosecutor felt he could not prove her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Gary Beard also appeared before George and pleaded guilty to receiving more than $300 in stolen property. The persistent felony offender charge against him was dismissed. The prosecutor has recommended that he receive a five-year sentence. Formal sentencing is set for Feb. 19.

Horton also appeared and pleaded guilty to the charge against him. He was granted a five-year pretrial diversion. If he fails the terms of his diversion, Horton will be sentenced to five years in prison. His case is set for review Dec. 18, 2012.

Edwards will appear in Taylor Circuit Court for a pretrial hearing on Jan. 22. He is scheduled to face a jury March 24.

- Rheuban James Combs, 24, of 2247 Raikes Hill Road in Elk Horn pleaded guilty to two counts of theft by unlawful taking more than $300 and third-degree burglary.

Combs was granted a five-year pretrial diversion and ordered to pay $40 in restitution along with co-defendant William Howard Mayes, 25, of 11350 Liberty Road in Campbellsville.

If Combs fails the terms of his diversion, he will be sentenced to five years in prison. His case is set for review Dec. 18. 2012.

Mayes also appeared before George and pleaded guilty to one count of theft by unlawful taking more than $300 and third-degree burglary. An additional count of theft by unlawful taking more than $300 and a charge of first-degree criminal mischief were dismissed.

Mayes was also granted a five-year pretrial diversion and ordered to jointly pay $40 in restitution. If he fails the terms of his diversion, he will be sentenced to three years in prison. His case is also set for review Dec. 18, 2012.

Court records also list Mayes' address as 11350 Liberty Road in Elk Horn.

- Joseph Michael Frankel, 25, of 916 Pecos Circle in Danville pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief, possession of burglar tools and theft by unlawful taking more than $300.

Frankel was granted a four-year pretrial diversion, sentenced to a year's probation and ordered to pay $50 in restitution.

If Frankel fails the terms of his diversion, he will be sentenced to five years in prison. His case is set for review Dec. 20, 2011.

Court records also list his address as 1150 Blue Bank Road in Hustonville and 330 Oak Crest Terrace in Jupiter, Fla.

- Derek Scott Mardis, 22, of 300 Lowell Ave. in Campbellsville completed the terms of his diversion and had a theft charge against him dismissed.

In December 2005, Mardis pleaded guilty to theft by unlawful taking more than $300. At that time, Mardis was granted a two-year pretrial diversion and ordered to pay $446 in restitution.

- Anthony Wiley Mikulin, 24, of 70 Pickett Road, Apt. A, in Campbellsville pleaded guilty in two separate cases to first-degree selling cocaine, selling marijuana within 1,000 yards of a school, first-degree possession a cocaine, possession of drug supplies, having no insurance, failure to wear seat belts, failure to signal, tampering with physical evidence and alcohol intoxication. He originally faced a charge of first-degree selling cocaine, his second offense. That charge was amended to possession of cocaine.

Mikulin was sentenced to a year's probation on his misdemeanor charges. The prosecutor has recommended that Mikulin receive a additional five-year sentence on his felony charges. Formal sentencing is set for Feb. 5.

Court records also list his address as 516 Lebanon Ave. in Campbellsville.

- Staff Writer Calen McKinney can be reached at 465-8111 Ext. 235 or by e-mail at reporter@cknj.com. Comment on this story at www.cknj.com.