‘ People here are so nice. They are always letting someone else drive their cars’

‘ People here are so nice. They are always letting someone else drive their cars’

Judge Thorne has an outbreak of ‘ It wasn’t my car’ syndrome in Municipal Court

By the Evening Times News Staff


Those in the county jail had a holiday treat wating for them.

“Jail?” asked Judge Fred Thorne from the bench in the West Memphis Municipal Court “Yes sir.”

“Is the jail having barbecued bologna or barbecued Spam for Memorial Day?”

“Barbecued Spam.”

“Are they having baked beans and potato chips with that?”

“Yes, sir.”

Aman with a felony case of residential burglary and theft was asked by Judge Thorne, “You are accused of breaking into someone’s house. Do you understand that?”

“Yes. I didn’t break into a house. I gave their stuff back to them.”

He continued to talk and Judge Thorne asked him, “Will you listen to me?”

“Yes, sir.”

“You will tell your story to the public defender and he will talk for you. Then I’ll figure out your bond and set if for you. Where do you live?”


“Are you employed?”


“How long?”

“Four months. I am a cook.”

“See the public defender.”

The next person was charged with schedule one with purpose.

“What did you say?” asked the judge of the bailiff.

He started talking again and the judge stopped him.

“You have drug charges. How long has it been since I’ve seen you?”

“Three years.”

“Where do you live?”

“West Memphis.”

“Where do you work?”

“Family Dollar warehouse.”

“How long?”

“Two and one half to three months.”

“Do you work through a temp service?”


“How much do you make a week?”

“$250 to $300.”

“See the public defender.”

A woman in jail was in a wheel chair.

“You are charged with theft, felony theft. Are you confined to a wheel chair?” “No. My ankle is messed up.”

“Are you retired or working?”

“I work part time on President’s Island. At the restaurant.”

“That restaurant has been there a long time.”


“See the public defender.”

Aman in jail came forward when his name was called.

“I put you on probation before. Go talk to the public defender.”

Another man in jail was charged with driving on suspended and speed. He pled guilty to those charges but to his charge of theft by receiving, he pled no contest.”

“Your license plate was stolen out of Colorado.”

“It was on the truck I just

Judge Fred Thorne bought.”

“How long had you had the vehicle?”

“Two months.”

“How long has your license been suspended?”

“Six months.”

“Do you have a job?”

“I’m supposed to start on Tuesday.”

“$305 plus court costs and three days jail on your driving on suspended. $75 plus court costs on the speeding and $75 plus court costs on the theft by receiving.”

“Thank you so much your honor.”

“What were you doing in Colorado?”


Two women were called up together in the jail.

“You both are charged with theft. How do you plead?” Both pled guilty.

“You took leggings, sandals and Capri pants. Are you getting ready for summer? Is your mother here?”

“She is at the job fair.”

“Does she know you are here?”

“I don’t know.”

“$500 plus court costs and 10 days each.”

A man in jail was charged with driving on suspended. He pled no contest.

“This is three times you’ve been in here for driving on suspended. $500 plus court costs and ten days jail.”

A woman in jail had multiple charges including driving on suspended, no insurance, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to stop at a stop sign. She pled guilty to all accept no insurance and pled no contest to that charge.

“Are you living in Southaven?”


“Why were you here?”

“I was bringing my stepchildren to see their relatives.”

“Are you married to this guy?”


“Then they aren’t your step-children. They are his children. Is he here today to help you out?”


“Why doesn’t he have enough respect for you to be here? Did he not understand what happened to you?”

“He came to get the baby we have together. He got the car, too.”

“Did he bring proof of his insurance?”

“He sure didn’t.”

“You had a wreck?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Now the person you hit has to use his own insurance to pay to get his car fixed. $395 plus court costs and five days jail on the driving on suspend. $395 plus court costs on the no insurance. $100 plus court costs on leaving the scene and $75 plus court costs on the failure to stop. Do you see the problem here with your situation?”

“Yes, sir.”

A man in jail with a theft charge pled guilty.

“You stole at Walmart. Where do you live?”

“West Memphis.”

“Why did you need to steal a phone charger that costs $6.48. You could get a year and a fine of $2500 for that. $250 plus court costs and three days jail.”

Aman with charges of driving on suspended. He pled guilty.

“You haven’t had a license since 2010.”

“I do have a license.”

“It is suspended! $295 plus court costs and two days in jail.”

A man in the courtroom charged with reckless driving was asked how he pled. “No contest.”

“How do you plead to driving

on suspended?”


“You had insurance?”


“That’s good. Were you driving your mother’s car?” “My girlfriend.”

“People here are so nice. They are always letting someone else drive their cars. Why was your license suspended?”

“Child support.”

“$85 plus court costs on the reckless driving and $205 plus court costs and two days house arrest on the driving on suspended.”

The next man up was also driving his girlfriend’s car.

“I told you these are the nicest people here in Crittenden County. They’ll let anyone use their cars.”