Coffee County DA Not Happy After Pretrial Diversion Ordered In 2006 Case

Coffee County District Attorney Craig Northcott

Coffee County District Attorney Craig Northcott

The Coffee County District Attorney’s Office has been ordered by the State Court of Criminal Appeals to provide pretrial diversion in a case that occurred in 2006. The pretrial diversion would mean that the person accused of a crime can see the charges being removed from their record after a period of a year or two.
Susan Gail Stephens, a former substitute teacher in Tullahoma, was charged with two counts of statutory rape and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor in connection with an incident involving a teenage boy that occurred in 2006.
According to court documents, Tullahoma Police had reports in late 2005 and early 2006 that Stephens and her codefendant Kelley Renee Eaves had been “hosting parties for high school students in the Eaves’ home” on Albermarle Drive that allowed young boys to consume alcohol and smoke cigarettes.
In asking for the Criminal Court of Appeals for pretrial diversion, she says that since the incident in February 2006 she has been a fully law-abiding citizen.
Attorneys Edward Yarbrough and Alex Little represented Stephens. While Assistant District Attorney Jason Ponder prosecuted the case.
“We are upset over this ruling,” Coffee County District Attorney Craig Northcott said Thursday. “The District Attorney’s office have pursued a conviction against Ms. Stephens to fullest extent of the law. We fought against the diversion and are asking the State Attorney General to appeal this decision to the Tennessee Supreme Court. We have no control over the appeal but hope that they will seek to have the decision overturned. If this decision is overturned, we will continue to pursue justice in this case which would include a conviction. If the Court of Appeals is allowed to mandate that this defendant face no real consequences for her crimes and she complies with any and all terms of her probation, there will never be a conviction against her.”
Eaves was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and was placed on probation for her part in the incident.