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Meadows sentenced to 15 years

Attempts to convince a judge to suspend part of a 15-year prison sentence a jury recommended for a convicted rapist were unsuccessful Thursday.
Asked whether he wished to make a statement to the court prior to sentencing, Jeffrey (or Jeffrie) Lamont Meadows told Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Colin Gibb he could respect the judge’s decision in the case as long as the judge respected his assertions of innocence.
However, Gibb did not grant the defense’s request to suspend part of the sentence. He told Meadows he gives “great weight” to jury verdicts because he sees them as “the mind of the community.”
The judge noted that the jury’s 15-year sentence was only “nine months off” from the midpoint sentence suggested under state sentencing guidelines.
“You’ll still be fairly young when you get out (of prison),” Gibbs told Meadows. He advised the man not to end up back in court again when released.
“If you get in trouble again, your sentencing guidelines will be through the roof, so don’t come back,” Gibb said. “Good luck to you.”
As Gibb spoke, one of Meadows’ friends or family members started openly vocalizing anger over the sentence, then burst from the courtroom when told to leave.
Meadows turned to his family and friends and told them he loved them as he was escorted from the courtroom.
Probation Officer Doug Irvin told the court Thursday that Meadows had a prior conviction of receiving stolen goods as a juvenile. He said Meadows completed probation on that conviction in March 2007. The rape occurred May 31, 2008.
Meadows was convicted of raping a 17-year-old girl along with co-defendant, Ernesto Efrain Garcia. Garcia pleaded guilty to rape in November and is to be sentenced Aug. 13.
Meadows’ girlfriend, with whom he has a 16-month-old baby, testified Thursday that she knows Meadows did not commit the rape.
“He’s not a violent person. He’s never hurt anybody. He’s a good person,” said Jordan Shupe.
Shupe said Meadows used to do “odd jobs” to help pay the bills when he was living with her (at the time of the rape). She said the 2006 high school graduate had plans to go to school for training to be an electrician when he was arrested, and had “all kinds” of hobbies, including writing music and “messing around with computers.”
Prosecutor Bobby Lilly pointed out to the judge that Shupe told the jury the same thing.
“There’s not a lot I can say about this case that I haven’t already said – sometimes more than once,” Lilly said. He told the judge that Meadows’ crime is “among the most heinous” crimes “short of homicide.”
Lilly said several factors in the case “stand out” to him: the victim was a minor, the crime was “orchestrated’ by two men, it occurred on the side of the road at night, and Meadows attempted to intimidate the victim to prevent her from testifying.
Meadows was convicted in a separate trial of having his co-defendant’s brother approach the rape victim on several occasions and tell her to change her story and not testify against Meadows and Garcia.
“The jury asked the court to keep (Meadows) out of their community for a significant period of time,” Lilly said to the judge. “I see no reason to deviate from the jury’s sentence.”
Defense attorney Wade McNichols asked Judge Gibb to take into consideration Meadows already is “being punished” for the witness intimidation conviction. He also noted that there was only three years difference between the ages of the victim and Meadows.
Other factors McNichol asked the judge to consider when imposing sentence included:
• Meadows had a “minimal” criminal record and “successfully completed probation as a juvenile.”
• At the time of the incident Meadows was “under the influence of alcohol so his memory is not exactly clear as to what happened.”
• Meadows “has a history of working and helping to support his girlfriend and daughter.”
• Meadows had plans to “better himself.”
Lilly disagreed that Meadows’ probation was successful, saying it wasn’t successful long term given the violent nature of the subsequent crime.
Meadows will be placed on six months of supervised probation upon release from prison.
The victim, whose identity is being withheld due to the nature of the case, alleges she was walking down the street on Veterans Hill Road May 31 when Meadows and Garcia raped her.
Meadows acknowledged having sex with the woman, but contended it was consensual. He said he was walking down the hill after leaving a gathering at a Veterans Hill residence when he came across Garcia and the woman.

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Meadows sentenced to 15 years

Attempts to convince a judge to suspend part of a 15-year prison sentence a jury recommended for a convicted rapist were unsuccessful Thursday.
Asked whether he wished to make a statement to the court prior to sentencing, Jeffrey (or Jeffrie) Lamont Meadows told Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Colin Gibb he could respect the judge’s decision in the case as long as the judge respected his assertions of innocence.
However, Gibb did not grant the defense’s request to suspend part of the sentence. He told Meadows he gives “great weight” to jury verdicts because he sees them as “the mind of the community.”
The judge noted that the jury’s 15-year sentence was only “nine months off” from the midpoint sentence suggested under state sentencing guidelines.
“You’ll still be fairly young when you get out (of prison),” Gibbs told Meadows. He advised the man not to end up back in court again when released.
“If you get in trouble again, your sentencing guidelines will be through the roof, so don’t come back,” Gibb said. “Good luck to you.”
As Gibb spoke, one of Meadows’ friends or family members started openly vocalizing anger over the sentence, then burst from the courtroom when told to leave.
Meadows turned to his family and friends and told them he loved them as he was escorted from the courtroom.
Probation Officer Doug Irvin told the court Thursday that Meadows had a prior conviction of receiving stolen goods as a juvenile. He said Meadows completed probation on that conviction in March 2007. The rape occurred May 31, 2008.
Meadows was convicted of raping a 17-year-old girl along with co-defendant, Ernesto Efrain Garcia. Garcia pleaded guilty to rape in November and is to be sentenced Aug. 13.
Meadows’ girlfriend, with whom he has a 16-month-old baby, testified Thursday that she knows Meadows did not commit the rape.
“He’s not a violent person. He’s never hurt anybody. He’s a good person,” said Jordan Shupe.
Shupe said Meadows used to do “odd jobs” to help pay the bills when he was living with her (at the time of the rape). She said the 2006 high school graduate had plans to go to school for training to be an electrician when he was arrested, and had “all kinds” of hobbies, including writing music and “messing around with computers.”
Prosecutor Bobby Lilly pointed out to the judge that Shupe told the jury the same thing.
“There’s not a lot I can say about this case that I haven’t already said – sometimes more than once,” Lilly said. He told the judge that Meadows’ crime is “among the most heinous” crimes “short of homicide.”
Lilly said several factors in the case “stand out” to him: the victim was a minor, the crime was “orchestrated’ by two men, it occurred on the side of the road at night, and Meadows attempted to intimidate the victim to prevent her from testifying.
Meadows was convicted in a separate trial of having his co-defendant’s brother approach the rape victim on several occasions and tell her to change her story and not testify against Meadows and Garcia.
“The jury asked the court to keep (Meadows) out of their community for a significant period of time,” Lilly said to the judge. “I see no reason to deviate from the jury’s sentence.”
Defense attorney Wade McNichols asked Judge Gibb to take into consideration Meadows already is “being punished” for the witness intimidation conviction. He also noted that there was only three years difference between the ages of the victim and Meadows.
Other factors McNichol asked the judge to consider when imposing sentence included:
• Meadows had a “minimal” criminal record and “successfully completed probation as a juvenile.”
• At the time of the incident Meadows was “under the influence of alcohol so his memory is not exactly clear as to what happened.”
• Meadows “has a history of working and helping to support his girlfriend and daughter.”
• Meadows had plans to “better himself.”
Lilly disagreed that Meadows’ probation was successful, saying it wasn’t successful long term given the violent nature of the subsequent crime.
Meadows will be placed on six months of supervised probation upon release from prison.
The victim, whose identity is being withheld due to the nature of the case, alleges she was walking down the street on Veterans Hill Road May 31 when Meadows and Garcia raped her.
Meadows acknowledged having sex with the woman, but contended it was consensual. He said he was walking down the hill after leaving a gathering at a Veterans Hill residence when he came across Garcia and the woman.

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