‘ Maybe they will give you six hours credit for cooking in the jail?’
Culinary student lands in hot water over drug charges
On a rainy Friday West Memphis District Court was low in attendance. A man with a felony charge of delivering meth and cocaine was asked, “Where do you live?”
“I live in Little Rock. I came here to visit my mother for her birthday.”
“What are you doing with your life?” asked Judge Fred Thorne.
“I am going to culinary school at UALR. It’s never too late to go the school. I graduate this year, hopefully.”
“Maybe they will give you six hours credit for cooking in the jail? See the public defender.”
A man with a felony charge of delivering meth and cocaine times three was asked, “Where do you live?”
“Do you work?”
“Do you get a check?”
“Yes. I get a disability check.”
“How much do you get?”
“735 a month.”
“Who do you live with?”
“See the public defender.”
A woman with a felony charge of possession of controlled substance told the judge, “I live between here and New Mexico. I got two felonies.”
“Do you have a job?”
“I can’t get a job because of my felonies.”
“Who did you live with in New Mexico?”
“My auntie. Yeah and my two kids are there too.”
“See the public defender.” A man with a felony theft charge was also asked where he lived.
“I live in West Memphis.” “Are you employed?”
“Who supports you?”
“I stay with my girlfriend.”
“Do you have a job.”
“I failed my drug test at my job.”
“So now you may live off the county. See the public defender.”
A woman in jail charged with disorderly conduct pled no contest.
“Who was this that got your key?”
“A guy I know. He came over to my house and held me at gunpoint.”
“Is he your boyfriend?”
“Were you aware of his record?”
“Yes you were!”
“Yeah, he had been in jail.”
“You told the police, ‘I’m fighting me somebody.’” “The cab driver even called the police for me.”
“$100 plus court costs.”
A woman charged with theft pled not guilty. On her failure to appear she pled guilty.
“Why didn’t you come for your trial?”
“I was trying to get a ride and nobody would bring me.”
“$375 for your failure to appear. Come back for this new trial date!”
A man in jail plead not guilty to driving on suspended, not guilty on no insurance and not guilty on no tags. To his charge of careless driving he pled guilty.
“$75 plus court costs on the careless driving. Trial date for the other charges will be December 5th.”
Another man in jail pled no contest on his failure to return for review.
“I was in Conway and couldn’t get back here.”
“I gave you a break on your domestic battery charge when I gave you six months probation. You also now have a failure to comply. There will be a warrant for that. $75 plus court costs on your failure to return for review.”
A woman in the courtroom pled no contest to her charge of careless driving.
“Did you have insurance?” asked the judge.
“$45 plus court costs and go to driver’s school and I’ll take it off your record.” “If I go to driver’s school will it come off my record?”
A man with a hot check pled no contest to that and no contest to not having a vehicle registration.
“I have proof that I paid off the check.”
The bailiff took the receipt and read it to the judge.
“My wife forgot to get the tags.”
“Should she get this charge?”
“$25 plus court costs on the vehicle registration.
Court costs on the hot check.”
A woman with a careless driving charge was asked, “How do you plead?”
“How do you plead to no driver’s license?”
“Why were you driving without a license?”
“I was taking my baby to school.”
“You can’t legally take your baby to school. $45 plus court costs and driver’s school on the careless driving. $75 plus costs on the no driver’s license. Do you want to go to driver’s school?”
A woman in the courtroom who looked a little disheveled was asked, “How do you plead to failure to stop?”
After thinking about it for a minute she said, “No contest. I’m not feeling very well and getting here by 8:00 wasn’t easy.”
“$45 plus court costs and driver’s school.”
“I don’t have any money today.”
“You will have to pay something today. Talk to the ladies at the window.”
“I have been holding my tongue. Lots of people have been answering me with yeah, naw, and unh.”
A man in court was charged with driving on suspended. He pled guilty.
“How many driving on suspended’s has he had?”
“Eight.” said the court attorney.
“Do you still have sickle cell?”
“This is the man who told me he had ‘sickle cell’— he was ‘sick of his cell’ and wanted out.”
“I been doing good. I haven’t been here in a little minute.”
“What are you doing about your driving on suspended charges?”
“I’ve been paying at the Revenue Office. I owed a lot.”
“$395 plus court costs and 10 days house arrest. Or would you rather have 80 days?”
“If you don’t get this paid off, that cell is going to be sick of you.”
A woman in the courtroom was told, “You have a serious charge, endangering the welfare of a minor.
How do you plead?”
The man with her was also charged with endangering the welfare of a minor. He also pled no contest.
“Your child got out in the street in the middle of the night?”
“He also had a knife,” said the court attorney.
“Where were you two?”
“We were asleep.”
“How old is this child?”
“He was trying to get to the babysitter across the street,” said the woman.
“What is DHS doing?”
“They are doing an investigation,” said the man. “I got stuff fixed to secure the doors so he can’t get out, like DHS said.”
“My four year old helps him get stuff open,” said the woman.
“How many children do you have?”
“Are you two married?”
“Are the children his?”
“No all of them.”
“Where do you work?”
“I am a bartender and I work a second job.”
“Do you work?” the judge asked the man.
“I work full time.”
“$500 plus court costs each. One year jail reduced to six months probation through the Justice Network. Mr. Coleman, I want to monitor them.
Come back for a review Jan. 17th at 3 p.m. If you fail to stay on your probation you are probably going to jail. Also cooperate with DHS.”
Judge Fred Thorne
By the Evening Times News Staff