ROGERSVILLE — Accused child rapist Daniel Ross McClellan was scheduled to accept a plea agreement in Hawkins County Circuit Court Friday, but backed out at the last minute opting instead to stand trial.
McClellan’s attorney Gerald Eidson told the court that McClellan had informed him of his decision not to plead guilty during an afternoon recess. Circuit Judge John Dugger set a trial date for June 17.
Meanwhile, McClellan, 42, 323 Shepards Chapel Road, Rogersville, remains lodged in the Hawkins County Jail on $125,000 bond.
McClellan first came to the attention of Hawkins County authorities last April when his sons ages 14 and 19 were charged with rape of a child five years of age. When McClellan went to the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office to inquire about his sons’ arrest he was recognized as an unregistered convicted sex offender from Florida and was arrested.
The Times-News carried an article about McClellan’s arrest, and the next day a 16-year-old female contacted the HCSO alleging that McClellan had raped her 11 years ago when she was 5 years old.
HCSO Detective Randy Collier stated in the arrest warrant that McClellan admitted to oral sexual contact with the alleged victim when she was 5 years old, and he was subsequently indicted on two counts of rape of a child and one other sexually based crime.
Court sources said McClellan had intended on accepting a 15-year prison sentence in the plea deal prior to backing out.
The latest session of Hawkins County Circuit Court began with guilty pleas Wednesday, and indictments and guilty pleas on Friday.
Although Friday’s Hawkins County grand jury indictments weren’t ready to be released by the end of business hours Friday, among the guilty pleas heard last Wednesday and Friday were:
•David Wayne Jennings, 37, 1004 Derwood Court Apt. 2, Kingsport, who was sentenced to eight years in prison in exchange for a guilty plea to aggravated sexual battery.
•Christian Douglas Heck, 33, who was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay restitution of approximately $1,195 in exchange for guilty pleas to 13 counts of forgery and seven counts of worthless checks.
•Betsy Gilliam Massengail, 41, who was sentenced to three years 11 months and 29 days in prison and ordered to pay $4,000 in fines in exchange for guilty pleas to possession of Oxycodone and possession of morphine.
•Benjamin Daniel Brooks, 25, who was sentenced to three years in prison in exchange for a guilty plea to aggravated assault. Brooks was originally charged with attempted second-degree murder.
•Adam Douglas Cupp, 21, who was sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay $225 in restitution in exchange for guilty pleas to theft over $500, theft under $500 and possession of burglary tools.
•Ronnie Lee Hardesty, 31, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $1,348 in restitution in exchange for guilty pleas to three counts of forgery and criminal impersonation.