Illinois, Minnesota… out- of- towners fill up Judge Thorne’s courtroom
One of the felony cases in jail consisted of a man charged with delivery of meth or cocaine.
“Where do you live,” asked Judge Fred Thorne of West Memphis District Court.
“Marion, but I stay in Illinois. They came and got me. I was in jail.”
“You were arrested in Illinois?”
“For West Memphis.”
“See the public defender.”
A woman with a felony possession charge of schedule I or II was asked, “Do you have the means to hire an attorney?”
“Where do you live?”
“Minnesota. I will be around here about four months.”
“It must be international day. Do you have a job?”
“What made you to decide to come to West Memphis?”
“My mother had my son here.”
“You have seven misdemeanors also. You should have stayed in Minnesota.” A man with a felony theft charge was asked, “Where do you live?”
“Do you have means to hire an attorney?”
“What are you doing with your life?”
“I was working till I messed up.”
“That sounds like a confession. Do you have any income now?”
“My wife works.”
“See the public defender.
A man charged with 3rd degree battery and aggravated robbery was asked, “How old are you?”
“Do you have a parent here, please?”
“Who do you live with?”
“My parents. My mother thinks I am in Marion Court.”
“Go see the public defender too.”
A man in jail was charged with public intoxication and pled not guilty.
“You told the officers ‘yes, I’m drunk’.”
“I didn’t tell them anything. I was just sitting there by the restaurant.”
“$300 plus court costs.”
A woman in jail was asked, “Do you want to change your plea?”
“What do you plead to domestic battery?”
“Your husband already plead. I gave him a fine and he got out of jail. You figured out you did the wrong thing. He’s out of jail. Why didn’t he get a loan and get you out?”
“He isn’t out.”
“Do you have children?
Who is keeping them?”
“I asked DHS to drop them off somewhere. I just moved here a month ago.”
“$250 plus court costs.
One year suspended to six months probation with the Justice Network. If you complete your probation I will keep it off your records. Be back here December 13th. What do you want?”
“I want to keep it off my record.”
A woman in jail charged with having drug paraphernalia pled guilty. A man was called up with her and he pled no contest.
“That stuff was mine. He didn’t know I had it.”
“What are you on?”
“Heroin. I don’t do it everyday.”
“Do you have kids?”
“Yes. They are with my mom.”
Judge Fred Thorne “What difference does it make if you do it once a day or once a week? How is that good for your children? How long have you two been together?”
“Seven years,” the man answered.
“Are those your children?” “Yes, sir.”
“He didn’t know I had the stuff.”
“Don’t tell me he didn’t know! Why would you allow this to go on around your children, sir?”
“I don’t allow it. I didn’t know it was in my car.”
“$500 plus court costs and 30 days in jail for her. I’ll dismiss his charges.”
“Everyone here knows he knew what she was doing.” A woman in jail charged with theft, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and failure to appear pled guilty to all charges.
“Why didn’t you come to court?”
“I didn’t have a ride.”
“You had a ride to the store when you stole this stuff. You were the lookout while your children were taking stuff out of the packages
and putting it a bag.” “Them ain’t my kids.” “How did you get arrested?” “My bondsman turned me
“One year and $2,500 plus court costs on the theft.
One year and $2,500 plus court costs on contributing to delinquency of a minor and $500 plus court costs and 90 days on the failure to appear. You can appeal my decision.”
A young man in the courtroom was charged with speeding and pled no contest.
“Where are you going to be tonight?”
“At the football field.”
“Are you a starter?”
“Running back. I’m a senior.”
“What are you doing with your life?”
“I want to go into the Marines.”
“Do your parent’s know you are here?”
“Why didn’t you tell your parents? Who pays your insurance?”
“I pay it.”
“Do you work?”
“You are 18. I wish you had told your parents. Four hours community service.
Have it done by October 20th or you will pay the $75 plus court costs.”
A woman in the courtroom was asked, “How old are you?”
“16. I’ll be 17 tomorrow.”
“Jail, this is short notice but can we get a birthday cake for tomorrow?”
“Yes, sir, we can.”
By the Evening Times News Staff