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Robert Trantham violates probation; back in prison

Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2002 12:00 am

Just one day after a memorial service for Tony Queen, who was murdered eight years ago, one of those convicted in his death returned to prison.

Probation was revoked for Robert Lee Trantham, 26, of Sunrise Park, Sylva, on Monday, Sept. 23. Trantham will now serve 10 years in prison. The action came in Jackson County Superior Court with Judge Marlene Hyatt presiding.Trantham's sentence stemmed from probation violations between February and April, when he tested positive five times for marijuana and twice for adultration, according to documents on file with the county clerk of court.A condition of Trantham's probation was that he "not use, possess or control any illegal drug or controlled substance." In addition, Trantham was $45 in arrears of his monthly payments to the clerk's office for his probation supervision fee.Imprisoned for the murder of Tony Queen since Oct. 11, 1995, Trantham was released Dec. 27, 2001.As one of seven convicted in 1994 for the torture death of 24-year-old Queen, Trantham, 19 years old at time time, was convicted as a committed youthful offender of second-degree murder and received a 20-year sentence. He served seven of the 20 year before his release last year.As revealed during trials in the summer of 1995, the late Tony Cecil Queen, son of Cecil and Geraldine Queen of Tuckasegee, endured at least a week of torture in a Cullowhee trailer, including being bound and gagged and placed in a narrow closet with the door nailed shut. He died of suffocation, his autopsy revealed.The Queen family this past Sunday held a memorial service for their deceased son at Queen Cemetery at Falls Creek in Canada community.With Trantham back in prison, only one of the seven defendants remains free. Michael Blain Hagedorn, 25, the youngest of the group, was released from prison in August 2001. Like Trantham, he had been convicted as a committed youthful offender, which, by state law, required that his case be reviewed annually. in February, parole was denied for Michelle Shook Vinson, also convicted as a youthful offender. She remains at the N.C. Correctional for Women with a projected release date of July 24, 2004.The others who remain in prison for Queen's death are Vickie Jumper Fox, Carlton Anderson, Kenneth Fox and Walter Thomas York.

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