Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Convicted Rapist Changes Mind About Plea

A Cookeville man who pleaded guilty last month to charges of rape, kidnapping, robbery and attempted murder in return for a 25-year prison sentence has now apparently changed his mind.  23-year-old Waford Knight Bryant is the man who reportedly crawled through the attic of his apartment to gain access to a neighbor's home, where he raped the victim, kidnapped her, forced her to drive to a bank and withdraw money, and also attempted to strangle her.  Court officials say that's what he pleaded guilty to last week. But now Bryant claims that his lawyer withheld evidence from him that could have helped him in his defense. And, in a handwritten motion sent to the Circuit Court Clerk's office he says did not fully understand "the severity of the plea." And although he signed paperwork admitting to his guilt and accepting the plea, a hearing on his hand-written motion has been scheduled for February 14th.