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Man, 24, gets 15 years in rape case

A 24-year-old man was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading no contest to rape.

Tyler Wayne Delk pleaded no contest to two counts of rape and one count of attempted rape Monday in Van Buren County Circuit Court. A no-contest plea is an admittance of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, Delk’s public defender Danny Rasmussen explained.

“No contest is treated just like a plea of guilty,” Judge Charles Clawson told the defendant.

Delk received 15-year sentences on each rape count. The terms will run concurrently. He was credited with 505 days he has spent in the county detention center. He must register as a sex offender upon his release from the Department of Correction.

Rasmussen requested that Delk be allowed out on bond while awaiting room at the DOC. Deputy Prosecutor Chad Brown objected, saying that because Delk had been in jail so long and was facing a lengthy sentence he was worried the inmate might flee. Clawson ordered that Delk remain in jail.

Also in Division 3 Circuit Court Monday, Kimberly Davidson, 22, pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to 60 months in the Department of Correction. She received jail credit for the days she has been in custody. Several other charges against Davidson, including fleeing and contempt of court, were dropped.

Theodore Terrill, 49, pleaded guilty to criminal possession of explosives, and was sentenced to time served, which was 435 days in the county jail, and 48 months supervised probation. While on the witness stand, Brown asked Terrill’s attorney, Ralph Blagg, to ask Terrill if he had told investigators that he intended to scare people with the bomb. Terrill denied telling them that; Blagg said he didn’t think the admission was necessary, and the judge announced the sentence.

Jeremy Dunigan, already serving a prison sentence, pleaded guilty to charges including theft of property and possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to 48 months in prison to run concurrently with the sentence out of Cleburne County for which he is imprisoned.

Dustin Burt admitted to kicking in a door and taking items “that didn’t belong to me.” He was sentenced to 10 years in prison with a 20-year suspended sentence. Blagg, who is Burt’s attorney, requested that Burt be allowed out on bond while awaiting room at the DOC. A spokesman for Life After Prison Ministries was asked if he would continue to responsible for Burt, who had been out on bond, and he responded that the defendant’s behavior in the past 24 hours was “despicable” and said he would no longer be involved. Clawson ordered Burt to be taken into custody until he was transported to prison.

David Hocut, already serving a prison sentence at the Calico Rock facility, pleaded guilty to theft of property, breaking or entering and possession of firearms by certain persons. He was sentenced to 36 months in prison to be served concurrently with his current sentence. He also received a 36-month suspended sentence.

John Magness, currently in prison on charges including sexual assault, was in court to argue that he had received incompetent counsel. His trial counsel was public defender Mel Jackson, who “killed himself six days before my appeal was due,” Magness said. Clawson said he had inherited Magness’s case from Division One when Judge David Reynolds became a District judge. He said he would read over the file before making any rulings and rescheduled the case for March 17.

Also rescheduled for March 17, 2014, was the case of Steven Ray Nunley. His attorney, Helen Rice Grinder, asked for a continuance and said she plans to file a motion seeking a change of venue, the judge said. He said she would have until Feb. 15 to file the motion. Nunley was charged in October 2012 with possession of drug paraphernalia.

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