Long previous sentence big factor in dismissing man’s other charges in Carter County

John Thompson • Sep 13, 2013 at 9:01 AM

ELIZABETHTON — The Carter County courts have closed the book on Travis Grover Richardson, 31, and court officials don’t expect to hear from him again for 30 years.

On Thursday, Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood denied motions for a new trial for Richardson on convictions he received in May on aggravated robbery and six other charges stemming from a pursuit by police through three counties, starting on State Line Road in Elizabethton and ending in a crash on South Roan Street in Johnson City.

Blackwood had earlier sentenced Richardson to a 30-year sentence on those convictions and classified him as a career criminal. He won’t be eligible for parole on the aggravated robbery conviction until he serves 85 percent of his sentence.

Several remaining charges against Richardson were dismissed. The dismissed charges included an attempted first-degree murder charge from a 2008 incident in which Richardson allegedly broke into the residence of Tracy Solomon, the mother of his child, and stabbed Daniel Honeycutt. The infant child was in the residence when Honeycutt was stabbed.

The outstanding charges also included vandalism of the new Carter County Detention Center while Richardson was awaiting trial.

Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes said he had been contacted by the district attorney’s office about the vandalism charges and he was in agreement on dropping those charges.

“It would cost the county more money to bring him back up here, and he is so violent he could cause more damage,” Mathes said. “It is better to leave him in prison than to transport him for vandalism.”

Another consideration was that Richardson would be spending much of the rest of his life in prison and that would prevent him earning money to make restitution for the vandalism.

Dismissing an attempted first-degree murder charge is another matter, but the fact Richardson is already serving a 30-year sentence did influence the decision.

Assistant District Attorney Janet Vest Hardin listed other factors that went into the consideration. The victim of the 2008 stabbing is now in prison on an unrelated conviction. Solomon was also reportedly agreeable.

With the book now closed on Richardson, Hardin said she was very fortunate to come into a new assignment earlier this year and be given a case that was so well prepared as the one against Richardson.

“The law enforcement officers did an excellent job,” Hardin said. “Every ‘i’ was dotted and every ‘t’ was crossed. They made my job much easier.”

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