MURFREESBORO, TENN - In a recent development, Murfreesboro resident Webster Malone who was convicted by a Rutherford County jury on two counts of selling less than 0.5 grams of cocaine in 2022, lost an appeal that was filed in the appellate courts.
His charges stem from a 2019 incident where Malone sold drugs to a confidential informant associated with the Narcotics Unit's Special Investigations Division at the Murfreesboro Police Department. Despite Malone's claims of innocence, the jury based their decision on a video presented during the trial, capturing Malone handing something off, though he asserted not knowing the content.
Following the conviction, Malone sought an appeal, arguing insufficient evidence and claiming a sentencing error. However, the Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, under Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer, affirmed the original trial court's judgment on December 1, 2023, rejecting Malone's assertions. The appellate court's decision leaves Malone with a fifteen-year incarceration term, denying his plea for Community Corrections.
During the trial, Malone's wife, Mrs. Malone, testified and denied knowledge of her husband's cocaine sales and stating that he hadn't used the drug since the 1980s. Malone's pleas to return to his family, citing his age and a desire to provide for his family, were not taken lightly. Unfortunately for Malone, the court also had to consider his extensive criminal history. That history lead Malone being designated as a Career Offender due to eight prior felony convictions.
Webster Malone, currently held at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, faces eligibility for release at the age of 67 in 2027, but his complete release will only occur at age 76. This case underscores the complexities surrounding drug-related convictions, with Malone's past offenses influencing the court's decision on his original sentencing.