Story changes, plea deal reluctantly accepted by prosecutors
A 26-year-old charged with rape and kidnapping pleaded guilty to felony assault and has accepted a maximum 2½-year sentence.
Quenton Talley received a 19-month minimum sentence and 32-month maximum from Judge Paul Ridgeway in Vance County Superior Court on Tuesday for one charge of assault inflicting serious bodily injury.
His sentence includes 36 months of probation, anger management classes and domestic violence counseling.
The rape and kidnapping charges were dismissed as part of the plea arrangement. Talley was represented by defense attorney Nick Bagshawe.
Vance County Assistant District Attorney Allison Capps said Talley’s rape and kidnapping charges stem from events that reportedly occurred on Oct. 28, 2013.
That day, Henderson Police Department officers responded to a disturbance at the Waffle House on Ruin Creek Road, where the victim worked, Capps said.
“There, they encountered the defendant who was argumentative and he was asked to leave the property,” she said.
The victim, Denise Blackburn, reported Talley came to the restaurant to get money from her and threatened her and her current boyfriend, Capps said.
“She was in a relationship with Mr. Talley for some time and that relationship had been very volatile and that officers from the Henderson Police Department and Vance County Sheriff’s Office are very aware of,” Capps said.
When she arrived at her home, Blackburn reported that Talley forced her inside his vehicle where he began to beat her with his fists and elbows about her head and body, Capps said.
She sustained injuries to her face and a ruptured an eardrum that is believed to be permanently injured, Capps said.
Blackburn reported that they drove to the Wise community and had sex, which she initially said was not consensual but she has since said that it was, according to Capps.
They went back to Vance County where Talley continued beating Blackburn and she reported he strangled her and she began blacking out, Capps said.
He eventually let her go, but before that he forced her to make calls to someone she was dating and her mother telling them she was OK, Capps said.
Ben Hunter, an assistant district attorney, was also involved in the case with Capps.
“It is with much hesitance that the state accepts this particular plea,” Capps said in court Tuesday. “Mr. Hunter has spent a significant amount of time speaking with Ms. Blackburn as she continually visits the jail to see Mr. Talley. She currently resides with Mr. Talley’s family. Her mother is extremely concerned about her safety and well-being, as is the state and all the law enforcement officers involved in this particular case.
“If there was any way for the state to make this case without Ms. Blackburn, we would do that and we would pursue a stronger and more lengthy term of incarceration against Mr. Talley,” Capps continued. “If he doesn’t get help and he doesn’t calm whatever is angering him and the way he treats women, I am afraid we are going to be here on a much more serious situation.”
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