Benjamin Allen Farris

Benjamin Allen Farris

TALLADEGA COUNTY -- A Sylacauga man has been sentenced to six consecutive life sentences after being convicted of the rape, sodomy and sexual abuse of four girls between the ages of 5 and 17.

Benjamin Allen Farris, 40, was convicted in August by a jury of eight men and four women of rape in the first degree, sexual abuse in the first degree, two counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12 and two counts of sodomy in the first degree.

All four victims testified against him at trial, as did one other victim. The last victim, now an adult, said Farris followed a pattern very similar to one of the other victims, starting when she was about 6 years old, in Cullman. The youngest victim, who was 5 at the time of her abuse, was allowed to testify via closed circuit television.

Farris also has two prior felony convictions, for burglary.

The sentence was imposed Tuesday by Talladega County Circuit Judge Bo Hollingsworth. The case was prosecuted by Chief Assistant District Attorney Christina Kilgore and Assistant District Attorney Brittany Ford.

The case was investigated by the Talladega County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Human Resources and Palmer Place, the children’s advocacy center for Talladega County. Farris was defended by attorney Jon Adams.

Talladega County District Attorney Steve Giddens praised the work Kilgore, Ford and all of the investigating agencies did on the case.

“I told the family that this is the worst thing someone could do short of killing someone, but I’m not even sure that’s correct. I don’t know what’s worse,” Giddens said. “But these victims told the truth, they got up there on the stand and said what he did to them.

“It’s not easy to go through what they all went through at trial. It makes you understand why more people don’t come forward and more people don’t follow through. I told them I really admire their courage.”

Also in court this week, Hollingsworth sentenced:

  • Dajarvius Kevon Walker, 24, to 365 days in jail, suspended, two years probation for criminal mischief in the second degree and criminal trespass in the first degree. Walker was indicted on charges of criminal mischief in the first degree and burglary in the third degree but pleaded guilty to the lesser charges;

  • William Cody Lindsey, 36, to 30 months, suspended, two years probation for criminal mischief in the first degree;

  • Donald Ray Best Jr., 34, to 39 months, suspended, two years probation and 12 months, suspended, two years probation for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. A charge of possession of brass knuckles or a slingshot was dismissed;

  • Jonathan Michael Trucks, 43, to 30 months, suspended, two years probation for theft of property in the first degree;

  • Daniel Scott Burdette, 44, to 113 months in prison for theft of property in the first degree;

  • Dillon Bradley Vincent, 23, to 39 months, suspended, two years probation for possession of a controlled substance;

  • Tori Brianna Whisenhunt, 23, to 23 months, suspended, two years probation and 12 months, suspended, two years probation for possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana in the second degree. Another possession of a controlled substance charge was dismissed;

  • Eric Ryan Rayfield, 28, to 58 months in prison for possession of a controlled substance and manufacture of a controlled substance in the second degree. Rayfield was indicted on a charge of manufacturing in the first degree but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge. A charge of possession of drug paraphernalia was dismissed;

  • Shannon Jackie Williams, 38, to 58 months, split, 14 months in prison and two years probation for possession of a controlled substance;

  • Melvin Christopher Woods, 35, to 69 months, split, 14 months in prison and two years probation for possession of a forged instrument;

  • Michael J. Cotton to 42 months, split, 12 months in jail and two years probation for theft of property in the third degree;

  • William David Hyatt, 40, to 23 months, suspended, two years probation for possession of a controlled substance;

  • Megan Lynn Martin, 35, to 10 years, split, 15 months in prison and two years probation for assault in the second degree;

  • Kettisha Nicole Tuck, 41, to 85 months, split, 14 months in prison and two years probation for theft of property in the third degree;

  • Christopher Mark McDaniel, 34, to 22 months, suspended, two years probation and 12 months, suspended, two years probation for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia;

  • Michael Wade Bevels, 33, to 102 months in prison, concurrent, for each of two counts of theft of property in the first degree;

  • Joseph Edsol Gray, 45, to 46 months in prison for burglary in the third degree;

  • Eric O’Shay Lowe, 31, to 131 months in prison for receiving stolen property in the third degree;

  • Wardarius Justice Mobley, 24, to 39 months, suspended, two years probation and 12 months, suspended, two years probation for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia;

  • Venus Marie Grier, 30, to 65 months in prison for theft of property in the first degree; and

  • Robie Lee Edison Waybright, 20, to 23 months, suspended, two years probation on two counts of possession of a controlled substance and 12 months, suspended, two years probation for possession of marijuana in the second degree and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Further coverage of Talladega County Circuit Court will appear in Friday’s Daily Home.

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