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Shepard reaches plea deal

Keenan Akil Shepard, 22, 321 Lynwood St., Bristol, the man the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department said stuck a gun in the face of a county woman on March 26, along with his attorney, Benjamin G. Sharp, reached a plea agreement in United States District Court in Greeneville last month. As such, the case will not go to trial.
Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley previously said on March 26 officers were dispatched around 1 p.m. to Sugar Hollow Road, Unicoi, to respond to a residence where the victim, Brenda Hoilman, was allegedly assaulted by Shepard, who reportedly knocked on the her door and asked her to give him a ride. When the Hoilman refused to do so, Shepard reportedly pointed a pistol at her head. Hoilman then slammed and locked the door, then called 911.
Hensley also previously said Hoilman watched as Shepard attempted to steal a truck at a nearby residence. Officers later discovered that the fuse box on the truck had been tampered with.
As officers searched the area around Sugar Hollow Road on March 26, Unicoi County 911 received a call from a female resident on Unicoi Drive saying that an unknown man was on her back porch.
Hensley was the first officer to arrive at the Unicoi Drive residence. He found Shepard sitting in a car behind the house. Shepard was then arrested
Earlier this year federal grand jury indicted Shepard, who is also known as “Beanz,” on charges stemming from the March 26 incident in Unicoi County. The federal grand jury indicted Shepard on one count each of: attempted carjacking; possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime; possession with the intent to distribute marijuana; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.
According to the plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court on Sept. 10, Shepard pleaded guilty to the charges of possession with the intent to distribute marijuana and possession of one or more firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.
The possession with intent to distribute marijuana charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, up to two years of supervised release and a $100 special assessment fee, the plea agreement said. Also, the possession of one or more firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense charge carries a minimum mandatory five years up to life imprisonment consecutive to the drug offense, a fine of $250,000 up to five years on supervised release and a $100 special assessment fee.
“The defendant understands that the sentence in this case will be determined by the court after it receives the presentence report from the United States Probation Office and any information presented by the parties,” the plea agreement states. “The defendant acknowledges that the sentencing determination will be based upon the entire scope of the defendant’s criminal conduct, the defendant’s criminal history and pursuant to other factors.”
The plea agreement states that Shepard was in possession of 994.22 grams of marijuana at the time of the incident, as well as a loaded SCCY, model CPX-1, .9mm semi-automatic pistol. Carter County Sheriff’s Department deputies also found an Intratec, model Tec-DC9, .9mm semi-automatic pistol at Shepard’s residence the day of the incident.
Shepard’s sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 5 at 9 a.m. in federal court.