A Decatur man has been sentenced to 10 days in the Limestone County Jail for sexual abuse of a 14-year-old in 2015, records show.
Danny Ray Cobb Jr., 37, was initially arrested by Athens police in January 2015 on a misdemeanor charge of second-degree sexual abuse of a child age 12–16. Chief Floyd Johnson said at the time that the victim was a 14-year-old acquaintance of Cobb's, and that the incident had occurred earlier the same month in the 1700 block of North Lindsay Lane.
Under Alabama law, a person commits second-degree sexual abuse if he subjects another person to sexual contact who is incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less than 16 years old or, if he being 19 or older, subjects another person to sexual contact who is older than 12 but under 16.
Court records list a March 2015 arraignment date, but it was five years later that a bench trial date was set. On Dec. 15, 2020, Cobb pleaded guilty to the second-degree charge.
He was sentenced by Athens Municipal Court Judge Donald Mansell to 40 days total, with 10 days to be served in the Limestone County Jail and the remaining 30 to be suspended pending completion of a 24-month probation sentence, records show. He was also fined $500.
Cobb began his 10-day sentence Monday.
Why the wait
Cobb made The News Courier headlines twice in 2015 — once for the sex abuse arrest, and the second time for a meth lab that exploded in his car while he was talking with a conservation officer.
The officer had been checking fishing licenses near the area of U.S. 31 and Alabama 20 in April 2015 when he struck up conversation with Cobb. They were discussing a previous arrest for having an invalid license when the two heard an explosion come from the front end of Cobb's late-1980s model Buick.
According to the Limestone County Sheriff's Office, Cobb ran to the car and began throwing things out if it and into the water, including a clear plastic bottle with flames coming from it and a plastic bag with another plastic bottle inside of it.
Cobb then got into his car and drove away. The bottles were retrieved as evidence, and warrants were issued for Cobb's arrest. Cobb was charged with first-degree manufacturing a controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence, littering and attempting to elude law enforcement.
Cobb later pleaded guilty to the first-degree manufacturing charge in Limestone County court and was sentenced in September 2016 to 15 years in prison. However, a motion filed Dec. 6, 2016, states Cobb had become "the main cook" at the county jail during his stay there.
As such, LCSO contacted Cobb's attorneys, asking they request Cobb's sentence be changed "to serve at their jail due to the lack of a replacement cook if Defendant is transported to a (Department of Corrections) facility." The filed motion says the Limestone County District Attorney's office did not have any objection to the matter.
Cobb's sentence was amended the same day. Jail records indicate Cobb was released from the county jail in July 2020, about five months prior to pleading guilty to the sex abuse charge.