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Ex-preacher has trial set on solicitation of minor charges; murder cases get new dates

Staff Reports • Apr 19, 2013 at 10:15 PM

A former preacher from Greeneville who’s accused of sending sexually suggestive text messages to a 15-year-old teen now has a trial date set on his charges.

Roger Glen Ball, 42, 350 Hillcrest St., is charged with two counts of solicitation of a minor. He knew the girl he allegedly sent messages to from being her basketball coach and a teacher in her homeschool co-op. The girl was also friends with Ball’s daughter, according to prosecutors. Ball is scheduled for a trial in his case Aug. 8 in Washington County Criminal Court. He appeared in court Friday before Judge Robert Cupp.

Other cases set Friday that saw no action included first-degree murder charges against four people accused of luring a Greeneville man to a remote location where one of them shot him. Justin “Puff” Stratton, Ginger Holtsclaw, Ashley Harold and Anthony Phillips are all charged in the shooting of Gary Couch. The case was reset for May 14.

Christina Thomas was scheduled for a hearing on a motion for new trial, but it was also reset for May 14. Thomas was convicted in August on charges of especially aggravated robbery and especially aggravated kidnapping. The victim was Thomas’ landlord. Her husband, Steve Thomas, pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping in November 2010 and received a 10-year sentence. Christina Thomas went to trial and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Codey Miller, charged with first-degree murder in the 2009 death of his mother, Sherry Cooper, was also scheduled for a plea deadline Friday. His case was not heard, but the new date was not available late Friday.

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