‘ Sir, you have been in court more times than my bailiff’
Judge Thorne sees some familiar faces in District Court
In West Memphis District Court last Friday, a lady in the courtroom was first to be recognized.
“Did you bring a report from your eye doctor?”
asked Judge Fred Thorne.
“Yes, I did.”
“Give it to my bailiff.”
Judge Thorne read the report and said, “I’ll dismiss this. Be a little more careful. I’ve found you can’t help everybody. One person I helped six times and he was back in trouble again. Enough is enough.
Then they say ‘sorry judge.’” A man was called up in jail.
“Jail, get him a mental health evaluation.”
During his explanation of how to plead, Judge Thorne told the audience, “If you plead ‘not guilty,’ you will have to sign a scheduling order. It will tell you to be here on a certain day at 8:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. If you come in late and the witnesses have left and if you don’t change your plea, then you WILL go to jail. It isn’t fair for the witnesses and the police to change their schedule to be here then have to come back again. If you want to explain your case today or show me any documents, plead ‘no contest.’” A man in jail was charged with no driver’s license and possession of illegal drugs.
He pled guilty to both charges.
“How old are you?”
“What are you doing with your life?”
“I’m going to college and working at night.”
“How does that make any sense? You are supposed to be getting your life together. What were you doing with those pills?”
“I wasn’t doing nothing with those pills.”
“The pills were in your pocket! If you bull s—, me and don’t tell me the truth, you could get one year and a fine of $2,500. Now what were you doing with those pills?”
“I was just holding them.” “$500 and one year jail suspended to 30 days. $55 plus court costs on the driver’s license. If you had told me the truth like ‘I did have a few pills and I was going to sell them,’ I wouldn’t like it but I would probably have reduced your fine!”
A man charged with loitering pled no contest.
“I was just walking down the road and they arrested me. I parked my car at the Iron Skillet and walked over to Pilot.”
“Yes, and they were alleging that you were stealing.
Why else would you park your car one place and walk to the other place?
Jail, let him out at 5 o’clock today.”
A woman in jail was charged with driving on suspended. She pled guilty.
“How old are you?”
“Do you have a drug problem?”
“I did have one but I got out of jail and I got a job.”
“Who do you live with?”
“$295 plus court costs and 2 days jail. Do you have a
Judge Fred Thorne felony charge pending?”
“Pay some money down on this charge and work out a payment plan.”
The next woman came forward.
“Weren’t you just in my court?”
“About three months ago.” “How do you plead to public intoxication?”
“Nolo. I was at the Skippys on my way to my auntie’s
house when they
pulled me over.”
“How much did you have to drink?”
“Three 32 ounce cans.”
“That’s a lot of beer. Do you have a job?”
“No. I get a check every month. I was going back to school then my drinking problems started again.”
“$350 plus court costs and three months probation.”
A man in jail charged with obstruction of justice pled no contest.
“Sir, you have been in court more times than my bailiff. You used some other guy’s name.”
“My little brother.”
“I’m changing your plea to not guilty. Be back here June 20th at 8:30 for trial.” “Do I have to stay in jail until then?”
“No. You can make bond and get out.”
The next man was charged with disorderly conduct.
“How do you plead?”
“No contest. I had been drinking.”
“Your neighbor called the police. The lady said you threatened her. Then you were screaming and hollering at the police. 30 days.
Get back on your meds.
Jail, have him evaluated.”
A woman was called forward in the courtroom.
“She is the one who said, ‘I don’t have an attitude problem. I have a personality you can’t handle,’” said the bailiff.
“I think I can handle it,” said the Judge.
“I think you can too, “ replied the bailiff.
“How do you plead to no insurance?”
“How do you plead to improper equipment?”
“Whose car was it?”
“Did he come up here to pay your fine?”
“$395 plus court costs on the insurance. I’ll dismiss the improper equipment.”
A man in the courtroom was charged with no proof of insurance. He pled no contest. He was also charged with parking in a handicapped parking spot.
He pled guilty to that charge.
“How old are you?”
“Did you have insurance?”
“$50 on the insurance. $65 plus court costs on the parking in the handicapped parking space. Do you want to go to driver’s school to keep it off your record?”
“Ugh, yes sir.”
“You don’t have to! It’s not my record.”
“I’ll go to driver’s school.”
A man charged with no driver’s license and failure to comply pled no contest to both charges.
“When I first came in here I was still in high school. I failed the drug screen.”
“You have two choices.
You can do six months in jail or six months probation and pay all the fines. What do you want?”
“Six months probation!”
“If you don’t pay your fines what will you get?”
“Six months jail.”
“Be back here on July 19 at 3 p.m. for a review.”
A man in jail was called up.
“How do you plead to harassment?”
A woman in the courtroom came forward.
“Are you the one he hit with his fist?”
“Yes, sir. We have a child together.”
“What happened sir?”
“We were arguing and it got out of hand. I am sorry it happened.”
“One year and suspended to 180 days. I want you to sign a no contact order.”
“Your honor, she has come to the jail to visit with him,” said the jailer.
“You went to visit him?
When will you every learn?”
“I seen him once. I was stupid about it.”
“When was that?”
“Two weeks ago.”
“She also wrote me a letter,” said the man in jail.
“It was about things we need to do about our son!”
said the woman.
“Change that sentence.
You have a one year sentence suspended to 90 days. The no contact order stays in effect.”
A person in the galley commented, “she caused his sentence to get shorter.”
By the Evening Times News Staff