Lawyer who stole from dementia patient sentenced - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Lawyer who stole from dementia patient sentenced

Posted: Updated:
  • Most ReadMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Lamar Co. man sentenced in federal court on drug charges

    Lamar Co. man sentenced in federal court on drug charges

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:31 PM EDT2014-07-31 16:31:27 GMT
    A Lamar County man has been sentenced to nearly 8 years in federal prison on drug charges. Tommy Lucas, 48, was sentenced to 95 months by U.S. District Court Judge Keith Starrett Thursday morning. LuacsMore >>
    A Lamar County man has been sentenced to nearly 8 years in federal prison on drug charges. Tommy Lucas, 48, was sentenced to 95 months by U.S. District Court Judge Keith Starrett Thursday morningMore >>
  • City of Hattiesburg employee fails to register as sex offender

    City of Hattiesburg employee fails to register as sex offender

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:04 PM EDT2014-07-31 16:04:34 GMT
    A City of Hattiesburg employee is behind bars for failing to register as a sex offender. Public Works employee Martaze Denzel Hammond, 35, was arrested Wednesday by the Forrest County Sheriff's DepartmentMore >>
    A City of Hattiesburg employee is behind bars for failing to register as a sex offender. Public Works employee Martaze Denzel Hammond, 35, was arrested Wednesday by the Forrest County Sheriff's Department after exceeding a 90 day period in which to register as a sex offender.More >>
  • Four arrested after attempted correctional facility drug crime

    Four arrested after attempted correctional facility drug crime

    Thursday, July 31 2014 4:21 PM EDT2014-07-31 20:21:06 GMT
    Four suspects were arrested Thursday during an attempt to commit a crime at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution. According to prison officials, officers responded to a fence alarm around 5 a.m.,More >>
    Four suspects were arrested Thursday during an attempt to commit a crime at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution. According to prison officials, officers responded to a fence alarm around 5 a.m., July 31, 2014, at the SMCI campus located in Leakesville, MS where officers found two packages. K9 personnel picked up a trail of the suspects which lead towards Wildcat Corner, located at the corner of High School Road and Hwy. 57 near Leakesville.More >>
MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) -

A Nashville attorney has been sentenced to an additional eight years in prison for stealing money from the wards he was supposed to protect.

John E. Clemmons was appointed as the conservator for a Rutherford County man with dementia who was confined to a nursing home. An investigation by the Rutherford County Clerk and Master discovered Clemmons had stolen about $120,000 from the ward, Russell Church.

Clemmons agreed to an eight-year sentence, to be served consecutively, after an 18-year sentence in Davidson County. As part of the agreement, if Clemmons is ever paroled on the Nashville charges, he will come back to Rutherford County to find out whether his eight-year sentence will be served in prison or on probation.

Rutherford Clerk and Master John Bratcher's office discovered the theft.

"I have no sympathy for him," Bratcher said.

Clemmons' defense attorney told the judge that Clemmons had a gambling problem.

"We're defending a man seeking mercy at this point," defense attorney Bob Lynch told the judge.

"Gambling was part of it," Lynch said.

"He was a high roller," Bratcher said. "He used people who were helpless. He used the money of people who were helpless and he had taken an oath to protect."

After Bratcher discovered the Rutherford theft, more victims learned Clemmons had been doing the same thing in Davidson County for nearly 10 years.

Teresa Lyle's mother Nannie Malone was one of his victims.

"If Davidson County had just done their job, like Mr. Bratcher and his office did, we wouldn't be here, now," Lyle said.

Lyle discovered that Clemmons stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from her mother's accounts, while telling the family there was no money to pay for her cancer treatments.

"My mother suffered a lot. I just wanted justice," Lyle said.

The victim in the Rutherford County case was able to get all his money back; Clemmons sold some family land to make restitution.

The Davidson County victims are still trying to recover more than a million dollars Clemmons stole from them.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.