Harriman man gets 8 years in guilty plea for selling drugs

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By Damon Lawrence

Carleton Goins had a chance to face a jury on Tuesday.
Instead, he decided to plead guilty to charges of selling cocaine.


“A lot of these guys tend to think that we’re not able to get our confidential informants to trial,” Assistant District Attorney General Bill Reedy said. “When they find out we can, they change their mind.”
Reedy said Goins was sentenced to eight years in prison. The case stemmed from a 2009 indictment.
“He pled to the indicted charge,” Reedy said. “There was three of them.”
Reedy said Goins will have to serve at least 45 percent of the sentence because he pleaded guilty as a persistent offender.
“It would have been the same had we tried it to a jury,” Reedy said.
Goins, 34, has a Harriman address. Court records said he requested to serve his sentence at the Morgan County Correctional Complex in Wartburg, so he can be close to family.
He was still in custody at the Roane County Jail Thursday morning.
Kingston police reported chasing a Lenoir City man on a motorcycle Tuesday afternoon.
Leonard Ray Merrell, 19, faces numerous charges, including evading arrest, speeding, improper passing, operating an unregistered vehicle and reckless endangerment.
Kingston Assistant Police Chief Gary Nelson said he was in front of the ORNL Credit Union when he saw the motorcycle headed north on Kentucky Street.
“I clocked it at 53 mph in a 30-mph zone,” the report said. “I turned around and activated my emergency equipment. The motorcycle increased speed and refused to stop.”
The report said Merrell drove onto the sidewalk and nearly struck a construction worker.
“I lost sight of the motorcycle on Poplar Creek Road for a short time and found him waiting beside a house in the 1400 block of Poplar Creek Road,” the report said. “He came out of the grass near 1416 on his motorcycle headed straight at me and turned into the ditch where he lost control and slid.”
The report said Merrell ran behind a house where he was apprehended by Nelson, two citizens and Lt. Tony Guy of the Roane County Sheriff’s Office.
Nelson said Merrell told him he ran because he didn’t have a motorcycle license. He’s scheduled to appear in court in October.
Kingston police charged a Murfreesboro man with possession for resale Wednesday morning.
Michael William Robinson, 21, is also charged with reckless driving and a registration violation.
According to the report, officer Jerry Singleton saw a Ford Taurus leave Taco Bell and travel south on Kentucky Street.
“I was traveling behind the car and it was gaining speed as we came up  on the intersection of Race and Kentucky streets,” the report said. “The Ford sped up and went from the turn lane to the none turn lane and cut off a van in the process.”
Singleton said he stopped the Ford after noticing it had an expired tag.
Robinson “couldn’t find his license and appeared to be a little disoriented,” the report said.
Singleton and Roane County Sheriff’s Deputy John Mayes, according to the report, searched the car after Mayes’ police dog alerted that contraband was present. Singleton reported finding a brown paper bag with about 10-12 grams of suspected marijuana.
“Most of it was individual buds laying loose and easy to hand out as you are selling it,” the report said. 
Police seized the car and $215.71 in cash.
Robinson is scheduled to appear in court on the charges in September.