Forger gets four years for Clay, Lowndes cases

John T. McManus
Staff Writer

A 42-year-old West Point native whose history of alcohol and drug abuse dates back to the early 1990s when he was a teenager is sent back to prison.

John T. McManus was sentenced to a total of four years -- three for possession of methamphetamine as a habitual offender and one for forgery -- as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors in Clay and Lowndes counties, where he has been living.

In documents filed in circuit court in both counties, McManus said he was under the influence of meth and opiates when he went on the latest string of forgery and drug cases in 2015 and 2016 shortly before he was sentenced to prison in Lee County on forgery and false pretense charges in Lee County.
His probation on those charges has been revoked and another year added to his sentence.

Two forgery charges in Clay County were retired based on his guilty pleas in Lowndes County.
In one case, on Feb. 22, 2015, he stole a $1,000 check West Point firefighter Richard Brantley, who lives in New Hope in Lowndes County, was mailing to pay a bill and forged it.

On Feb. 9, 2015, he stole an $816.93 sent check Charlie Ward Jr. was mailing to pay a bill and forged it.
In his Lowndes County cases, he cashed a forged $2,017.04 check at Northside Package Store in Columbus.
Prior felony convictions for manslaughter in Clay County on July 19, 1996, possession of a cell phone in a prison in Leake County in 2008, and forgery in Lee County in 2016 classified him as a habitual offender.

The manslaughter conviction stems from a1995 accident where he struck and killed a special needs child as she got off a school bus on East Morrow Street in West Point.

According to court records, he also had a misdemeanor simple assault conviction in Clay County in 1992 when he was 17, a DUI conviction in Clay County in 1993, and DUI in Clay County in 2014.
In other Clay County Circuit Court cases:
-- Sonya Edwards, 54, of West Point, is placed on four years non-adjudicated probation for identity theft.

She also must make $4,885.210 in restitution at the rate of $205 per month.
-- David Nation, 39, of Pheba, was removed from the pre-trial diversion program and sentenced to three years, with two suspended and one to serve for possession of a stolen firearm. He was caught on Sept. 30, 2015 with a stolen Ruger 22-250 handgun, according to court documents. He originally was placed on pre-trial diversion in January 2017 but violated the terms of the program.
-- Ricardo Thompson, 30, of Starkville, was placed on pre-trial diversion for possession of stolen property