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Sentencing in DUI Case of Martin Attorney Raises Questions

Shannon Taylor

Editor

 

A Martin attorney charged with a DUI, a Class A Misdemeanor that is not eligible for judicial diversion, recently pleaded guilty to a Class E Felony to receive a judicial diversion, which has raised concerns for attorneys regarding the judicial process in the State of Tennessee.

In 2022, Martin attorney Reagan N. Brock (formerly Wallace at the time of arrest) was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence. Brock is an Associate with Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell, PLC located in Martin.

According to her business profile, “Reagan N. Brock is an Associate with Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell, PLC, in Martin, Tennessee. She is a member of the Firm’s Tort and Insurance Practice Group, and a member of the Firm’s Business Group. Her practice focuses on civil litigation defense, with an emphasis on automobile liability, premises liability, other insurance-related matters, as well as all aspects of real estate transactions. Reagan joined the Firm in October 2022. Reagan is a Martin native. She graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, majoring in Finance and minoring in Legal Studies. She then attended the University of Memphis School of Law where she was a member of the University of Memphis Law Review and a Peer Mentor. After graduating from law school, Reagan worked for Pentecost, Glenn & Mauldin, PLLC, in Jackson, Tennessee, practicing civil insurance defense and representing governmental entities. She spent the last year and a half working for Unger & Godwin with a general practice focused mainly on criminal defense and real estate transactions. Reagan is the President of the Weakley County Bar Association; a board member for the Obion and Weakley Counties Carl Perkins Center; and the District 12 Representative for the Young Lawyers Division for the Tennessee Bar Association.”

According to a Martin Police Department crash report, Brock was traveling East on University Street when she was struck by another vehicle. Wallace advised that “she did not remember much about the incident.”

Brock’s vehicle had multiple alcoholic beverage containers opened in the car, according to the crash report, however she stated that she “only had one beer earlier in the night,” and that “the containers belonged to someone else.”

Brock could not perform the standardized field sobriety tests in a manner that officer, MPD Ptl. Grayson Whitworth felt she could operate the vehicle safely, according to a court affidavit.

Brock was placed under arrest and charged with DUI First Offense and consented to a breath alcohol test. The result of that test was .155 percent.

According to TN TCA 55-50-102, the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit according to state law is 0.08 percent for standard vehicle operators. This equates to 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.

Brock’s case was bound over and she was indicted by the January term of a Weakley County Grand Jury on a DUI Per Se 55-10-401 (a) (2), which is not an offense eligible for a judicial diversion per Tennessee law, 40-35-313.

Brock was made to serve her mandatory 48 hours in jail in Perry County due to her connections in Weakley County, which is standard practice according to multiple attorney sources.

In Brock’s judgment, filed May 2023, a pro tem District Attorney (DA) for the State of Tennessee, Daniel A. Stephenson, was brought in to serve on the case. 27th Judicial District Attorney Colin Johnson recused himself from the case. Bruce Smith was the attorney for Brock. The DUI was “dismissed in settlement” and recovery court was not offered as an alternative sentence.

Instead, an order of deferral for judicial diversion was entered where Brock pleaded guilty to Reckless Endangerment with a Deadly Weapon, a Class E Felony eligible for judicial diversion. The case was amended to allow Brock to plead guilty to where her case could be eligible for a judicial diversion. A plea some Weakley County attorneys are calling “unprecedented” due to the fact that they have never seen this type of deal offered to any of their clients over the years. Two attorney sources, who prefer to remain anonymous due to working with the stated attorney in the county, said that “what Reagan got here is a benefit that few, if anyone else, would ever get if they were a regular person.”

Brock was allowed to enter a felony plea, receive a judicial diversion, keep her driver’s license with no restrictions, no court-ordered interlock device on her vehicle for one year and no long-term consequences like SR-22 insurance which, according to tn.gov, is a substantially more expensive insurance.

Brock received two years of unsupervised probation, where at the end of that in May 2025, the felony will be expunged from her record. Brock also has to pay a $350 fine, serve 30 hours public service, attend a Victim Panel meeting sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and obtain an alcohol and drug assessment.

Brock’s judicial diversion was signed by 27th Judicial District Circuit Court Judge Jeff Parham.

“There is a real danger in accepting the plea she did from the standpoint that should she commit another offense during the two-year period, intentional or accidental, she could face up to two-years imprisonment for violating the probation set out in the plea to reckless endangerment. Any additional charges during the two-year period would also nullify the judicial diversion and the felony conviction would remain on her record. This Judicial District’s Circuit Judge Jeff Parham signed off on the plea agreement, but I feel certain that his reason for doing so was the greater punishment set out in the plea agreement. I have never seen anyone in my time practicing law that has pleaded to a greater charge than what was charged. But in this case, there were benefits and dangers alike in doing so,” one attorney stated.

Attorney sources state that this case “sets back a precedent for any attorney who has a client with a DUI case.”

Pro Tem Assistant District Attorney Daniel A. Stephenson was contacted for comment but has not yet responded.

4 Comments

  1. Donald on March 29, 2024 at 3:40 pm

    They always protect their own with the abuse of their privilege of power and authority with subversion of the law not allowed for a regular John Doe..

  2. Debbie Matheny on March 29, 2024 at 7:32 pm

    Well. I’ve seen some things in my time, but this ” takes the cake”! I will have to check my records for dates, but I was charged for DUI, due to the fact that I had just started a new medication. I hired an attorney, who was of NO help at all. They were kind of stumped ( judge) how to charge me, because they’d not come across this situation with prescribed meds before. They said it might come a time where it would b expunged from my record, but not before the cost of attorneys fees, insurance and embarrassment. The judge even said he didn’t know how to charge me, but charge he did! I’m just…or say, was a hardworking woman that went thru 6 back surgeries, a broken leg and hardware from one end to the other. They went thru my back and front on one surgery, leaving me in a ” body cast” for almost a year! I live in pain 24/7/365 days of the year!
    She gets off with little more than a slap on the wrist! So, she had to stay for 48 hours…I bet part of that she got credit for was while she was being booked. I don’t mind having to do the right thing, but it should apply to everyone!! My attorney did nothing…sat there with his mouth shut.
    I will get the information about the date and the judge. I don’t believe I got a ” fair shake”, so to speak. It was the first time I’d been in trouble for anything. I just believe, like our constitution states, all men, ( women) shall b created equal!! I believe her being an attorney, she knew how to plead and what her chances were. Even tho it was a first offense, like mine was, a DUI is a DUI, and since I was judged so harshly, she should have been also!
    Thank you….I hope I haven’t ruffled too many feathers and I really didn’t want to dredge up something that happened 20-25 years ago.
    Thanks again for your time.

  3. Robert Johnson on March 29, 2024 at 9:26 pm

    That is a bunch of crap

  4. Tony W on April 4, 2024 at 2:16 pm

    This just isn’t right.

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