Former constable Barney Brown gets unsupervised probation on no contest plea, still facing lawsuit in alleged traffic stop

John Thompson • Feb 5, 2019 at 7:11 PM

ELIZABETHTON _ Former Carter County Constable Barney Brown, who was facing charges of aggravated assault and official oppression from a 2016 traffic stop, was found guilty of reckless endangerment after entering a nolo contendere plea in Carter County Criminal Court on Tuesday morning.

In the plea agreement, the aggravated assault charge was reduced to reckless endangerment and the oppression charge was dismissed.

Judge Stacy Street sentenced Brown to an unsupervised probation period of 11 months and 29 days. Street also ordered Brown to have no contact with the victim, Cecil Perry.

Brown is no longer a constable. The voters of the 2nd District elected Julie Guinn in his place in the 2018 election.

Tuesday’s proceedings lasted only about 10 minutes and was the only case on the docket for Tuesday. Brown was defended by Johnson City attorney James Bowman, Dennis Brooks was the prosecutor.

This does not mark the end of the court cases stemming from the alleged traffic stop. The victim has filed civil cases in both U.S. District Court in Greeneville and in Carter County. Brown’s “no contest” plea is of importance in those cases because it is not considered an admission of guilt in the lawsuit, just a statement that Brown chose not to contest the charge.

The original charges stem from a investigation of an alleged traffic stop of Perry by Brown on Dec. 2, 2016. The traffic stop was reviewed by Investigator Shannon Morton of the First Judicial District Attorney General’s Office.

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