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Men who stole cattle in Hawkins County receive prison sentences

October 21st, 2013 9:48 pm by Jeff Bobo

Men who stole cattle in Hawkins County receive prison sentences

Dennis Lee Murrell, left; Dustin Anthony Holloway, right

ROGERSVILLE — Two men who were arrested in May after the cattle they had stolen got loose and attracted the attention of police pleaded guilty last week to theft charges in Hawkins County Criminal Court.

Dennis Lee Murrell, 30, 149 Terrace View, Rogersville, was sentenced to a total of 10 years Thursday by Judge John Dugger on the cattle theft charge, as well as an unrelated charge pertaining to theft of a pickup.

Murrell was sentenced to six years in exchange for pleading guilty to one count of theft over $10,000 for the theft of the pickup, and he was ordered to pay the victim $11,000 in restitution.

Murrell was sentenced to a consecutive four-year sentence for a second count of theft over $10,000 stemming from the theft of 10 cows and a bull, and was also ordered to pay $250 in restitution.

Dustin Anthony Holloway, 27 2899 Coffey Road, Morristown, appeared before Dugger Friday and was sentenced to three years in exchange for pleading guilty to one count of theft over $10,000 pertaining to the 10 cows and the bull, and he too was ordered to pay $250 in restitution.

They will be eligible for parole after serving 30 percent of their sentences.

On May 18, nine stolen Hawkins County cows escaped from a small corral in Hamblen County near Holloway’s home, resulting in an investigation that led to their arrest.

Overall 11 animals — 10 cows and a bull — had been stolen recently from a farm leased to Jeremy Fobber on Prices Grove Road in Bulls Gap.

Two of the stolen animals were taken to the stockyards in Kingsport and put up for sale, while the other nine were placed in a small corral on Sulphur Springs Road in Hamblen County.

When the cows escaped on May 18, the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Office responded to that location, as did Holloway, who was trying to get them back in the corral.

Hamblen County deputies became suspicious because the corral was more suited as a dog kennel and was inappropriate for large livestock. Deputies questioned Holloway, and eventually he admitted the cows were stolen.

Holloway also implicated Murrell as his accomplice in the theft.

In June, Murrell was charged in the unrelated theft of a 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cam pickup from an Arrington Road residence on Feb. 13.

Other guilty pleas heard Friday by Dugger included: 

• Sharon Kay Keith, 53, 217 Stanley Valley Road, Rogersville, who was sentenced to six years, fined $8,825, and ordered to pay the HCSO $450 in restitution for three counts of delivery of Schedule II narcotics, delivery of controlled substance analogue, and simple possession of cocaine.

• Crystal Gail Webb, 41, no address available, who was sentenced to three years, fined $2,000, and ordered to pay $1,623 in restitution for theft over $1,000 and four counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.

• Ray Edward Testerman, 78,117 Ridge St., Surgoinsville, who was sentenced to three years and fined $4,000 for possession of Schedule II narcotics with intent to deliver and possession of Schedule III narcotics with intent to deliver.

• Wanda Faye Harvey, 56, 138 Lauderback Road, Rogersville, who was sentenced to three years, fined $2,000 and ordered to pay the HCSO $140 in restitution for possession of Schedule II narcotics with intent to deliver.


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