ROGERSVILLE — A Rogersville man joined exclusive, if dubious, company in Hawkins County this past weekend after being charged with driving on a revoked license, 10th offense.
Ted Allen Burton Jr., 32, 392-B Carters Valley Road, Rogersville, was arrested Saturday night after Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Detective David Benton conducted a traffic stop on Burton at Carters Valley Loop for having one headlight and one taillight.
Assistant Attorney General Doug Godbee has served as a prosecutor in Rogersville for more than a quarter century. In that time he can recall only one other person achieving double digits in the number of driving on revoked charges. It was many years ago, but Godbee said that individual scored 11 separate charges of driving on a revoked license.
If Burton goes for that Hawkins County record, the next time he’s arrest for driving on revoked could result in a sentence to a state penitentiary.
Burton was arraigned Monday on several charges in Hawkins County Sessions Court including driving on revoked 10th offense, possession of an open alcohol container in a vehicle, violation of the light law, and failure to show proof of insurance.
Prosecutors have also filed a petition to have Burton declared a habitual motor offender, and that charge was waived to the Hawkins County grand jury during Burton’s court appearance Monday.
Godbee had no explanation Wednesday for why Burton hasn’t been declared a habitual motor offender before now, with nine driving on revoked convictions already to his credit. But assuming Burton is eventually declared a habitual motor offender, his next driving offense would result in a felony charge, which carries a penalty of one to two years in prison.
“Evidently he hasn’t been declared (a habitual motor offender) yet, which is frustrating because this guy is out (driving),” Godbee said. “It’s important to get a person with this kind of background declared a habitual motor offender so that the next time he does it we can prosecute it as a felony. I’m sure there have been people with more (convictions) somewhere, but I can’t recall anyone with more than 11.”
Burton was ordered held in the Hawkins County Jail without bond during his appearance Monday before Sessions Judge David Brand. His case is likely to be heard before the grand jury when it meets again in May.