‘ I didn’t know marijuana was in my pocket’

‘ I didn’t know marijuana was in my pocket’

Judge Thorne and the Case of the Magical Mystery Weed


A woman with a felony charge was asked, “Am I never going to quit seeing you in court? Where do you work?”


“Who supports your?”

“My mother, till a month ago.”

“Where did you live last month?”

“In Memphis.”

“Talk to the public defender.”

The next man in jail was charged with disorderly conduct and pled guilty.

“See the public defender.

We might need to have him evaluated.”

The next two men up were told to go and talk to the public defender.

A man with 3rd degree battery charges pled ‘nolo contendere.’ “Where have you been in court before?”

The man didn’t answer and Judge Thorne went on to explain that that was not a plea that he had instructed his audience to use, therefore he had to have learned the phrase somewhere else, possibly in another court.

“Where do you live?”

“West Memphis.”

“The report says you hit a woman in the head with a trash picker. What is a trash picker?”

“I didn’t hit her with that, she hit me.”

“The report says you also had a board. I am changing your plea to not guilty. I want to hear from her. Your trial date will be November 4th.”

A man in jail charged with possession of marijuana and public intoxication pled no contest to both charges.

“I wasn’t drunk. I had one beer.”

“What about the marijuana in your pocket?” asked Judge Fred Thorne of West Memphis District Court.

“I didn’t know marijuana was in my pocket.”

“We have known each other since 1991. Do you think I just came in off the truck? You put your pants on every day. Does that mean you have marijuana in your pocket every day and just forget about it?”

“It was wrapped in tissue paper.”

“It was 1.4 grams. $150 plus court cost on the pubic intoxication. $750 plus court costs and 10 days jail on the marijuana.”

A young man in jail was charged with disorderly conduct and pled guilty.

“This happened at school.

You cussed out several students?”

A woman came forth and told the court that she was his guardian.

“Did you go to school and ask what was going on?

When did he go to jail?”

“Last Monday,” said his guardian. “Sir, he has issues. He needs evaluation.

He needs drugs.”

“Are you listening to me?” “Un-hum,” said the prisoner.

“Go to mental health and sign up for treatment. Be back here next Friday with a report from them. If you don’t I will put you in jail for 30 days. What happens if you don’t go?”

“30 days.”

“At least 30 days!”

A man in the courtroom pled guilty to no proof of insurance.

“Do you have some insurance now?” “Yes, sir.”

“Did you have any then?”

“No sir.”

“$195 plus court costs. If you hadn’t gotten insurance the charge would have been $395 plus court costs.”

The next man had a no seat-belt charge and a no insurance charge. He pled not guilty to the seat-belt charge and guilty to the no insurance charge.

“$295 plus court costs on the insurance and I’m dismissing the seatbelt charge. Go pay the insurance.”

A man with an illegal window tint charge was asked, “Did you take the tint off?”


“How do you plead?”

“Not guilty.”

“Be here for your trial date and bring the car.”

“I have the car today.”

“Okay, we will have your trial right now. Do you know what that is on the counter?”


“It checks the window tint. Bailiff take it out to his car and check it right now.”

To the next man up, “Your

Judge Fred Thorne license has been revoked.

How do you plead to driving on suspended?”


“Failure to yield?”

“No contest.”

“And no insurance?”

“No contest.”

“Show the bailiff your insurance.”

“It is outside.”

“Go get it!”

The man came back in with his papers. “It’s good,” said the bailiff.

“$205 plus court costs on the driver’s license and three days house arrest. $45 plus court costs on the failure to yield. $50 on the insurance.”

A man with a seat-belt charge pled no contest. He pled guilty to no insurance and no contest to improper right turn.

“I was looking for my customer. I was in the middle lane and I finally figured out where the customer was. The policeman was behind me and I knew he was going to pull me over.” “Who do you work for?”

“A response group, like AAA.”

“Don’t you think it is kinda crazy that you do this job and don’t have any insurance? $305 plus court costs on the insurance. I’ll dismiss the other charges.”

“Can I get on a payment plan?”

“I’ve been real nice to you and you asked for another favor. Get out there and work out a payment plan.”

A woman in the courtroom pled guilty to speeding and not guilty to no insurance.

She was carrying her insurance papers in her hand.

“You seem like such a nice person for me to start banging my head against the desk.”

“I don’t belong here.”

“Who in here knows she plead wrong?”

Hands went up all over the courtroom.

“Sit down, I’ll come back to you.”

A young man was in court for a review of his sentence with the Justice Network.

“He has paid his fines and is doing good,” said Mr.


“Father, how is he doing?”

“He is doing good. He is working every day.”

“Are you still running with the wrong crowd?”

“No, sir.”

“When you first came to court, who came with you?”

“My mother and father.”

“Where were your partners? They didn’t come to court with you did they?

When is his probation over?”

“November 5th.”

“You got a warranty this time. Next time you won’t get a warranty. Why aren’t you in school?”

“I finished school.”


The woman who had pled not guilty on her insurance was called back up.

“What do you plead to no insurance?”

“No contest!”

$35 plus court costs and go to driver’s school on the speeding. I’ll dismiss the no insurance.”

“What do you do for a living?”

“I’m a payroll clerk.”

“Do you have to get back to work to do payroll today?”

“No, I did it yesterday.”

“Do you think they showed up for work today.” “I hope so.”

“What is the phrase you learned today that you’ll never forget?”

“No contest!”

By the Evening Times News Staff