Criminal poster children sentenced

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 21, 2010

The two “poster children for career criminals” found guilty for dealing drugs in September were sentenced Wednesday to spend the next 35 years in prison by Circuit Judge Ashley McKathan.

Kelvis Coleman, 31, was found guilty on one count of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, and Willie George English, 32, was found guilty on one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and one count of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. The two, who were from Opp, were convicted after video evidence portrayed Coleman selling a bag of crack cocaine to English, who then began breaking it up into pieces to sell at a later time.

Both men were habitual offenders at the time of their conviction, when District Attorney Greg Gambril said, “These two guys could be poster children for career criminals. Between the two of them, there are 10 felony convictions and 29 misdemeanor convictions.”

Both men had been out of prison on parole for only a short time before re-offending, he said.

Gambril said the two men will be classified as non-violent offenders and could “very likely be considered for parole within a few years.”

-Stephanie Nelson