Kingsport Times News Saturday, December 20, 2014

Crime Local News

Kidney donor to serve extra time after reporting to prison two months late

March 4th, 2014 7:51 am by Wes Bunch

Kidney donor to serve extra time after reporting to prison two months late

JONESVILLE — A Lee County man convicted of robbery was given an additional three-year sentence Friday for failing to report to prison on time after being granted a delay to donate a kidney to his father.

Aaron James Ridings, 37, of Pennington Gap, had already been sentenced to 15 years in prison with 10 suspended in Aug. 2013 following his conviction in Lee County Circuit Court on charges of robbery and malicious wounding.

Ridings pleaded guilty Friday to failing to report to jail. He was charged with disobeying the order after he failed to turn himself in Nov. 18, 2013 to the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Duffield, according to the Lee County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

Lee County Circuit Court Judge Tammy McElyea told Ridings during the hearing that he had taken advantage of the court’s “good graces” before ordering him to serve the eight-year active sentence.

During his 2013 sentencing hearing, Ridings reportedly presented evidence that his father was in need of a kidney transplant and that he had been accepted as a donor.

The court granted Ridings’ request that he be allowed to travel to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville and report to jail at a later date.

The Nov. 18 date was set to give Ridings “ample time” to recover from the surgery, Lee County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shawn Hines said.

Ridings turned himself in at the regional jail Jan. 17, 2014, Hines said.

During his hearing, Ridings told the court that he didn’t feel he had healed enough as his report date approached and that he decided to stay in Nashville to maintain doctor’s appointments. Ridings testified that he remained in Nashville and was not on the run from law enforcement.

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