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Monday, Apr. 21, 2014

Portageville man receives prison sentence

Tuesday, December 11, 2001

COLUMBIA - A Portageville man is headed to prison for a rape committed in October of last year.

Greg Thomas, who also lists an address in Kennett, entered a plea of guilty Monday afternoon to charges of first degree rape and armed criminal action for the Oct. 4, 2000, break-in at a Portageville residence where a woman was raped and robbed. Boone County Judge Gene Hamilton, who heard the case on a change of venue from New Madrid County, sentenced Thomas to 25 years in the custody of the Department of Corrections on each count with the sentences to run concurrently.

Thomas waived his right to a pre-sentence investigation and was turned over to Department of Corrections officials.

Because he was tried under a violent crimes provision and is a prior offender, Thomas is required to serve 85 percent of his sentence before being considered eligible for parole, said H. Riley Bock, New Madrid County prosecuting attorney.

Prior to the finally sentencing, the victim read a statement to the court about the impact the crime has had on her life.

The case was initially set for a two-day trial later this month, according to the prosecutor, who said he planned to call 19 witness. Among those slated to be witnesses for the state was Mark Jones, also of Portageville, who is charged in the crime as well.

"This concludes one part of a difficult and complicated case that involved the testimony of a co-defendant and two cell mates of the defendant along with three defense attorneys, which caused considerable delay in bringing the case to a conclusion," Bock said.

Representing Thomas at Monday afternoon's hearing was Kimberly Shaw, a contract public defender from Columbia.

Bock praised local law enforcement for their efforts in the case. "The Highway Patrol, the Portageville Police and the New Madrid County Sheriff's Department are to be commended for their good work in a complex investigation," he added.

Jones' case is expected to be concluded within the next month, otherwise a trial date will be scheduled, the prosecutor said.