2 receive prison sentences

Donald Clay Warren (left) was sentenced to 15 years in prison for burning down a church. Derek Lawann Briskey was sentenced to 60 months in prison for stealing a truck.

TALLADEGA COUNTY -- A Talladega man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to burning down a church in Sycamore in September.

Donald Clay Warren, 31, of Rocky Mount Church Road, pleaded guilty to arson in the second degree before Talladega County Circuit Judge Bo Hollingsworth, who sentenced him. Warren has at least one previous felony conviction, for domestic violence assault, from 2011, according to court records.

Warren pleaded guilty to setting fire to the Welcome Springs Baptist Church in Sycamore on Sept. 27. There was no one inside the church at the time, but the building was a total loss, according to reports from the Talladega County Sheriff’s Office released at the time.

Firefighters from Sylacauga and Birmingham responded to aid volunteers from Sycamore, Oak Grove, Winterboro and County Line. Talladega County sheriff’s deputies investigated, with help from a dog trained to sniff accelerants provided by Birmingham Fire and Rescue as well as the state Fire Marshal’s Office and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Warren, who was not a member of the church, lived about half a mile away from it and was arrested about two hours after the fire was first reported.

Across the hall, Circuit Judge Julian King accepted a guilty plea from Derek Lawann Briskey, 38, of Childersburg, to theft of property in the first degree and sentenced him to 60 months in prison. Probation was denied, according to Assistant District Attorney Jake Argo.

Briskey pleaded guilty to stealing a 1998 Ford F-150 from in front of a tire shop in Childersburg in July. The owner had run inside for only a few minutes and left the keys in the truck with the engine running.

A “Be on the Lookout” was issued to area law enforcement agencies, and the truck was spotted and pulled over in Sylacauga a few hours later.

Briskey has previous convictions for assault in the first degree and distribution of a controlled substance in Chambers County.

Also in court this week:

  • King accepted a guilty plea from Crystal Camille Gaston, 47, to theft of property in the second degree and theft of property in the third degree, and sentenced her to 24 months, suspended, two years probation and 12 months, suspended, two years probation, respectively. Gaston was indicted on charges of theft of property in the first and second degree but pleaded to the lesser charges;

  • King accepted a guilty plea from Kevin Bradley Ward, 32, to possession of a controlled substance and sentenced him to 24 months, suspended, 24 months probation. Ward was indicted on a charge of distribution of a controlled substance but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge;

  • King accepted a guilty plea from Michael Lynn Fowler, 43, to burglary in the third degree and sentenced him to 16 months in prison;

  • King issued a warrant for Alicia Avery Baker when she failed to appear on a possession of a forged instrument charge;

  • King accepted a guilty plea from Samuel Andrew Woods, 38, to violating the sex offender notification and registration act, and sentenced him to 15 years in prison. Woods was convicted of sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl in 2008;

  • King accepted a guilty plea from Jody Lynn Huckabee, 49, to theft of property in the second degree and sentenced him to 76 months in prison;

  • King accepted guilty pleas from Jacob Adam Yoder, 39, to identity theft and theft of property in the third degree, and sentenced him to 20 years, split, three years in prison and 24 months probation and 24 months in prison, concurrent, respectively;

  • King accepted guilty pleas from Marquise Antonio Goffer, 34, to possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, carrying a pistol without a permit and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, and sentenced him to 87 months in prison, 156 days in jail, 156 days in jail and 15 years in prison, respectively;

  • King accepted a guilty plea from James Edward Keel, 61, to possession of a controlled substance and sentenced him to 24 months, suspended, two years probation. A second possession charge was dismissed;

  • King accepted a guilty plea from Curtis Danzell Fluker, 25, to theft of property in the third degree, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and sentenced him to 24 months, 36 months, 218 days and five years, respectively, all concurrent;

  • King accepted a guilty plea from Coty Allen Walters, 30, to possession of a controlled substance and sentenced him to 24 months, suspended, two years probation;

  • Hollingsworth accepted a guilty plea from Michael Austin Whitehead, 28, to felony obstruction of justice and sentenced him to six years in prison;

  • Hollingsworth sentenced Kimberly Michelle Jones, 35, to 118 months, concurrent, for two counts of burglary in the third degree;

  • Hollingsworth accepted a guilty plea from Tyla Rogers to possession of a controlled substance and sentenced her to 23 months, suspended, two years probation;

  • Hollingsworth accepted a guilty plea from Rachel Lloyd Bice, 32, to possession of a controlled substance and sentenced her to 23 months, suspended, two years probation;

  • Hollingsworth issued a warrant for Donald Ray Adams Jr., 26, who failed to appear on charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia;

  • Hollingsworth accepted a guilty plea from David Eugene Jones, 51, to theft of property in the first degree and sentenced him to 85 months in prison;

  • Hollingsworth accepted a guilty plea from Beniah Bradford, 35, to domestic violence assault in the second degree and sentenced him to 15 years in prison;

  • Hollingsworth accepted guilty pleas from Raymon Leon Butler, 48, to two counts of assault in the second degree and sentenced him to 37 months suspend, two years probation;

  • Hollingsworth accepted a guilty plea from Elizabeth Nicole Saltsman, 38, to possession of a controlled substance and promoting prison contraband and sentenced her to 48 months, suspended, two years probation;

  • Hollingsworth accepted a guilty plea from Kenterrus Norwood, 33, to possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana in the second degree and sentenced him to 23 months and 12 months concurrent, suspended, two years probation and

  • Hollingsworth accepted guilty pleas from Taylor Benjamin Goff, 26, to two counts of possession of a controlled substance and sentenced him to 23 months, suspended, two years probation, concurrent.

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