TOP PHOTO: Here are some of the items recovered by investigators in a case that started in 2019. In all, the estimated worth of the heisted goods totaled more than a quarter-million dollars.
JACKSBORO, TN. (WLAF)- Yesterday in criminal court, Monica Muse pled guilty in her ongoing theft case. But she did attempt an eleventh hour reprieve before admitting her guilt.
As court progressed on Monday, Donovan Justice, an associate at Banks and Jones, told the court his client wanted to plead but had “yet to reach an agreement” with prosecutors.
“We have set this for a final (call) twice,” said Eighth Judicial District Criminal Court Judge Zach Walden.
“There are extenuating circumstances,” Justice said. “There is a large, large amount of restitution” in the case.
“That is the consequence in a theft case,” Walden said.
With tension mounting in the courtroom, Assistant District Attorney General Lindsay Cadle told the court prosecutors had been under the impression a plea had been reached, that is why the case was on the docket.
“This case has been set over and over again,” Walden said. “I am over this case.” The judge told Muse and Justice a plea would happen or a trial date would be set. He further said he was inclined to revoke Muse’s bail for “impeding the progress of the case.”
With that, he set Muse’s case aside. Later in the day, T. Scott Jones, Muse’s retained attorney, appeared with her as she pled guilty to all of the counts she was charged with.
A reading of the indictment revealed Muse, along with her son and now deceased husband, stole money, guns, tools, construction materials among several other items. In all, the estimated worth of the heisted goods totaled more than a quarter-million dollars.
Police discovered the thefts in November 2019, but it was revealed in court Monday the Muse family had been stealing since 2016 in this case.
At yesterday’s hearing Muse pled guilty to six counts of theft over $2,500, three counts of theft over $10,000, two counts theft over $10,000, four counts of theft under $1,000, three counts unlawful possession of a weapon, theft over $60,000. These were the original counts Muse was charged with. She was not given a reduction of charges nor were any of the counts dismissed.
Her sentencing was set for July 31.
Her guilty plea will be “taken under advisement,” Walden said noting he was doing so only to keep her bail active.
In 2021, Muse’s husband, and alleged co-conspirator, John Muse, Sr., died. As a result, the charges against him were abated, meaning the case would not continue.
In Feb. 2021, the couple’s son, and partner in crime, John Muse, Jr., pleaded guilty to six counts of theft over $2,500, three counts of theft over $1,000, two counts of theft $10,000, three counts of theft under $1,000 and one count of theft over $60,000. He wasn’t sentenced at the time. That was delayed pending his testifying against his parents.
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(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 3/28/2023- 6AM)