James Crews was found guilty by a jury last November (2014) – and Judge David Kimberley cited aggravating circumstances related to his arrest prior to sentencing.
Prosecutors contended that Crews had sold crack cocaine to a confidential informant with the Etowah County Drug Enforcement Unit, in August of 2012 – just six months after he had been released from prison.
Crews had served a portion of a 25 year sentence on the drug distribution charge that had marked his sixth conviction.
Crews faced up to 99 years or life imprisonment, with an additional ten years, because the sale took place within a three-mile radius of public schools and public housing. Kimberley stated that Crews long-term criminal activity along with the fact that he made no admission of guilt, made that 20 year plus sentence necessary – in spite of his lawyers contention that the 63 year old suffered health issues, including a heart condition.