Prison time for Tabitha Gen­try cut on ap­peal

Some sen­tences now con­cur­rent

The Commercial Appeal - - Local - 901-529-2785 By Katie Fret­land fret­land@com­mer­cialap­

The Ten­nessee Court of Crim­i­nal Ap­peals has ruled that Tabitha Gen­try should serve part of her sen­tences con­cur­rently, ef­fec­tively re­duc­ing her to­tal time.

Gen­try, 35, who iden­ti­fies her­self as a citizen of the Moor­ish Amer­i­can Na­tional Re­pub­lic, had been sen­tenced to 20 years for the theft and bur­glary of an East Mem­phis man­sion and 14 years for as­sault and evad­ing ar­rest dur­ing a 2012 traf­fic stop.

She is ap­peal­ing both sen­tences, and the ap­peals court ruled this week on the sen­tence for as­sault and evad­ing ar­rest. Crim­i­nal Court Judge James Lammey had sen­tenced her to con­sec­u­tive sen­tences of six years for each ag­gra­vated as­sault con­vic­tion and two years for the evad­ing ar­rest con­vic­tion.

Her at­tor­ney, Clai­borne Fer­gu­son, ap­pealed, ar­gu­ing in part that her sen­tences should not run con­sec­u­tively.

The ap­peals court agreed and said the trial court “im­prop­erly ap­plied the dan­ger­ous of­fender clas­si­fi­ca­tion when or­der­ing con­sec­u­tive sen­tences.” The rul­ing changes her to­tal time from 34 years to 26 years.

Gen­try was pulled over Oct. 9, 2012, by Mem­phis po­lice of­fi­cer Em­manuel Man­zano for a head­light vi­o­la­tion, ac­cord­ing to the court opin­ion. She re­fused to pro­vide iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and was talk­ing on a phone with the car ra­dio up.

“Af­ter re­peated re­quests from Of­fi­cer Man­zano, the De­fen­dant even­tu­ally pro­vided him with a form of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, which stated that she was a ‘sov­er­eign citizen’ and which Of­fi­cer Man­zano de­scribed as ‘a weird I.D,’” the court wrote.

Man­zano’s part­ner, Of­fi­cer Pa­trick Meads, ar­rived, but Gen­try re­fused to talk to them. Lieu­tenant Joseph Pearl­man also ar­rived. The of­fi­cers de­ter­mined her li­cense was sus­pended by run­ning the car’s reg­is­tra­tion and the name it was reg­is­tered to.

Af­ter the lieu­tenant got per­mis­sion to break one of the car win­dows to un­lock the car, Man­zano and Meads tried to break the rear driver’s side win­dow mul­ti­ple times. Gen­try then put the car in re­verse and the of­fi­cers had to jump away.

Meads was struck in his side by the rearview mir­ror.

She drove away, trav­el­ing “slightly above the speed limit” and run­ning stop signs be­fore stop­ping in a drive­way, the ap­peals court wrote. Af­ter her ar­rest, she was “out of con­trol,” kick­ing and scream­ing, ac­cord­ing to the court opin­ion.

A jury con­victed her of two counts of ag­gra­vated as­sault and one count of in­ten­tion­ally evad­ing ar­rest in an au­to­mo­bile.

She was later sen­tenced to 20 years for the 2013 theft and bur­glary of a va­cant, bank-owned man­sion at 600 S. Shady Grove. She chained and locked the front gate and filed doc­u­ments claim­ing rights to the prop­erty with the Shelby County Register’s Of­fice, ac­cord­ing to an af­fi­davit.

She is ap­peal­ing that con­vic­tion and the sen­tence to the ap­peals court. Lammey de­nied her a new trial in Au­gust.


Tabitha Gen­try, who also goes by Abka Re Bey, sits in Judge James Lammey’s court­room last month seek­ing a new trial af­ter be­ing con­victed of theft and bur­glary in May.

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