Former Sevier County Clerk Asks For Two Different Trials
More news involving those two Sevier County clerks accused of taking bribes in exchange for titling stolen vehicles. Lawyers for Brandy Thornton were in court yesterday they argued that the three counts against her should be split into two different trials.
The first count of the indictment against her charges Thornton with conspiracy to accept cash payments and food from Juan Jose Lopez Gallardo, a man that has been charged with bringing stolen cars to East Tennessee and and also dealing drugs. The second and third counts involve James Hickman. According to court documents he was a confidential source for the government and bribed Thornton to create titles for “fictitious, not stolen” cars. Prosecutors said in court these two counts involved “substantive acts,” and not an overall conspiracy like the first count. The prosecutor countered by saying that all three counts are related and should be tried together.
Thornton’s lawyers also brought forth a motion to have Thornton tried separately from her co-defendant Roberta Allen. Allen agreed to a guilty plea to a conspiracy charge last Friday in exchange for having her other charges dropped. With Allen’s guilty plea, prosecutors say that makes the motion for separation of trials a moot point.