Felony bribery charge reduced in plea bargain

Sue Guinn Legg • Oct 2, 2013 at 9:52 PM

A Jonesborough man charged with solicitation of bribery for telling a woman he would have a Criminal Court judge reduce her jail sentence in exchange for $500 pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Wednesday in Washington County Criminal Court.

Robert Wayne Stanley, 44, Shell Road, was indicted in November on a charge of solicitation to commit bribery of public servant.

Special Agent Scott Lott with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation alleged that on Oct. 21, 2011, Stanley solicited the $500 from the woman “to have another person influence Judge Lynn Brown” to reduce the woman’s jail time.

In a compromise agreement entered Wednesday, Stanley pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor offense of solicitation to commit extortion.

Assistant District Attorney General Erin McArdle told Judge Robert Cupp the reduction in Stanley’s original felony charge was based on provisions of the bribery statute that would not have merited his conviction on that offense.

According to McArdle, the statute requires the accused have actual contact with a person intended to receive a bride. “He didn’t have contact with anyone,” McArdle said.

Stanley told Cupp the woman was his friend and he told her he could have her case fixed because he was “on drugs really bad” and “wanted to make myself sound a lot more important than I was.”

A separate felony charge that alleged Stanley possessed a schedule II controlled substance for resale in April 2012 was also reduced to a misdemeanor in plea bargain.

In exchange for his guilty pleas, Stanley received consecutive 11-month, 29-day sentences for each of the two offenses.

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