Shoffner enters guilty plea for several charges

Anthony Cloud Staff Writer

September 23, 2013

A Claiborne County man who led officers on a chase in May pleaded guilty in Bell Circuit Court on Friday.

Jordan Lee Shoffner, 24, of New Tazewell, Tenn., pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree fleeing or evading police (on foot and in a motor vehicle), two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment and one count resisting arrest.

The plea agreement calls for the dismissal of two failure to wear seat belt charges and two disregarding a stop sign charges.

Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Tara Pope recommended five years in the penitentiary for the first-degree fleeing and wanton endangerment charges and 12 months in the Bell County Jail for resisting arrest. The sentences would run concurrently.

Shoffner is set to receive his final sentence on Oct.7.

According to the arrest citation, Middlesboro Police Officer Barry Cowan began the pursuit after he witnessed a vehicle abruptly stop, back up and then speed away while failing to signal from where he was attempting to set up a check point at 19th Street and KY 441.

The citation says after Cowan activated his sirens and pursued Shoffner at a high rate of speed, the vehicle stopped and Shoffner ran east on KY 74 before Cowan caught him.

According to the arrest citation, there were two crying infants in the back seat of the car and Shoffner ran because he knew he was wanted on a warrant.

Shoffner was indicted on the charges on July 24.

In other court news, Jordan Cody Nash, 21, of Middlesboro, entered a guilty plea in circuit court Friday. He pleaded guilty to an amended charge of third-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Since the charge was amended to a misdemeanor, Nash received his final sentence from Circuit Court Judge Robert V. Costanzo. He was sentenced to 12 months in the Bell County Jail. If the sentence is probated, he will be placed on 24 months supervised probation.

He must also pay restitution to the victim in the amount of $274.

According to the indictment, Nash had in his possession a forged check issued to Mona Y. Collett in the amount of $274 with knowledge that the check was forged. He passed the check at Bill’s Market.

Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-248-1010, ext. 208, acloud@civitasmedia.com