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Woman who used Facebook romance to ambush robbery victim gets 11 years

Jeff Bobo • Feb 26, 2020 at 1:30 PM

ROGERSVILLE — The Hawkins County woman who used Facebook and a promise of romance to lure a man into an ambush and robbery was sentenced last week to 11 years, 365 days of which must be served behind bars.

Haley Celeste Douthat, 25, of Rogersville, was sentenced on Thursday in Hawkins County Criminal Court to a total of 11 years including three years for the robbery to run concurrently with eight years for separate unrelated counts of delivery of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The plea agreement accepted by Judge John Dugger states that Douthat must serve 365 days in jail, after which she can serve the remainder of her 11-year sentence on house arrest. She was also ordered to pay $2,300 in fines and $447 in restitution.

On Oct. 31, 2018, Douthat used communications on Facebook to lure a 42-year-old man to a residence at Cherokee Apartments on Route 66-S south of Rogersville.

After the victim arrived, three male suspects allegedly burst into the apartment wearing ski masks, beat the victim and stole $40 in cash and his phone.

The suspects then allegedly fled in the victim’s vehicle, which was later found wrecked.

What the four suspects didn’t know at the time was the parking lot of the apartment complex was under video surveillance, and Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office deputies led by Detective Keith Long were able to identify the suspects from that footage.

All four were named in Dec. 1, 2018, Hawkins County grand jury sealed indictments charging them with robbery, which was enhanced from a Class C felony (3-6 years) to a Class B felony (8-12 years) due to multiple suspects being involved.

As part of her plea agreement, Douthat's robbery charged was reduced to the Class C level.

As for her alleged accomplices, Danny Ray Bledsoe, 35, of Rogersville, is scheduled for trial June 10; Travis Shane Shattuck, 32, of Rogersville, was sentenced last year to three years of house arrest; and Todd Andrew Caswell was sentenced last year to three years house arrest, although he violated his probation twice since then and has been in and out and back in to jail since his plea.

Other guilty pleas heard Thursday by Judge Dugger include:

Christopher George Cross, 30, Rogersville, was sentenced to one year at 30% and fined $350 for one count of attempted possession of contraband in a penal institution.

Bobby Ray Caudill, 58, Rogersville, was sentenced to three years on house arrest and fined $4,100 for two counts of possession of Schedule II narcotics with intent to deliver and maintaining a dwelling where narcotics are kept or sold.

Travis Scott Gilliam, 33, Rogersville, was sentenced to one year at 30% and fined $450 for two counts of violation of the sex offender registry and violation of community supervision for life.

Gerald Lynn Russell, 38, Rogersville, was sentenced to 120 days in jail, three years of supervised probation and fined $350 for unlawful possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

Roscoe Paul Johnson, 38, Rogersville, was sentenced to 120 days in jail, two years of supervised probation and fined $1,200 for two counts of violation of the sex offender registry.

 

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