Errant letter causes sentencing delay in rape case

Errant letter causes sentencing delay in rape case


BLOUNTVILLE (AP) - The sentencing for a Bristol man has been delayed after his attorney said he didn't receive 1 of 2 letters from his client listing witnesses he wanted to testify at the hearing, along with a map to locating those people.

The hearing for 62-year-old Johnny Royston Sr. has been reset for Dec. 20 after attorney Randy Fleming told Sullivan County Criminal Court he needed those witnesses for the hearing, which had been set for Friday.

The Kingsport Times-News reported that Sullivan County District Attorney Barry Staubus advised he was skeptical of the relevance of these witnesses but agreed Fleming should have time to determine the relevance.

Royston was convicted in May of attempted second-degree murder, two counts of aggravated rape, especially aggravated kidnapping, and aggravated kidnapping.

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