‘ Since 2002, you have been in here 71 times’
Judge Thorne gets to spend time with an old acquaintance
Judge Fred Thorne was in a jovial mood before court started at West Memphis Municipal Court on Friday, possibly because of the holiday weekend. His mood became somber as he called up the first person with felony charges.
“Do you realize you could get prison time for your felony drug charges?
Where do you live?”
The woman in jail answered, “Marion.”
“Do you have felony charges pending?”
“I guess so.”
“She does have,” answered the bailiff.
“See the public defender.” A man with a felony breaking and entering charge was asked when the last time it was that he was in court.
“A long time back.”
“How long is that?”
“Over a year. I’m trying to get bond, Mr. Thorne.”
“I’ll give you one. What kind of income do you have?”
“I’m blind in my left eye.” “Go talk to the public defender.”
A man in a wheelchair was charged with felony burglary and obstruction.
“Do you have any income?”
“Talk to the public defender.”
A young man was in jail.
“How old are you?”
“Where are your parents?” “He said he would be up there.”
“Who do you live with?”
“Are you in school?”
“How old is your cousin?” “He’s grown.”
“How old is grown?”
“Why don’t you live at home?”
“My dad and I had an altercation.”
“See the public defender.”
When Judge Thorne gave his speech about how to plead he said, “You have three options and only three options. Option one is guilty. I’ll let you talk and I’ll make a decision on your case. Option two is not guilty. If you plead not guilty you will sign a scheduling order and be back here on the date and time it says for your trial.
Option three is no contest. I will hear what you have to say, look at your paperwork
Judge Fred Thorne or whatever you want to show me and then I’ll make a decision. You have the right to appeal any decision I make, even if you plead guilty.”
A man in jail was charged with driving on suspended and pled guilty.
“I just drive myself to work and back.”
“You were just here and got a sentence. $500 plus court costs and jail till 7 p.m. Monday. Maybe you can get back to work somehow on Tuesday.”
A man in jail charged with fleeing and criminal trespass
pled no contest to both
“The report says you took off running.”
“I wasn’t running, I didn’t run, I walked.”
“Since 2002, you have been in here 71 times. You are banned from every truck stop around here.
They said you were breaking into vehicles. Talk to the public defender.”
A man in jail with a criminal trespass charge pled guilty.
“You were banned from Jackson Heights and went there anyway.”
“I have a heart problem.”
“What does that have to do with it?”
“My meds were at my mother’s house in Jackson Heights” “$250 plus court costs. Is you mother able to drive?”
“Then have her bring you your medications.”
A woman in the courtroom was charged with driving on suspended and pled guilty.
“You have had eight driving
“I’m working on getting my license back. I have to pay arrears on my child support.”
“$225 plus court costs, 10 days house arrest. If you get another ticket for driving on suspended, bring a toothbrush.”
A man in the courtroom pled guilty to no driver’s license, no tags and following
“How old are you?”
“Are you going to get a license?”
“You have had eight priors. $100 plus court costs on the license. Whose car was it?”
“I’ll dismiss the other charges.”
A woman in the courtroom was charged with no driver’s
license and no insurance.
“What are you doing with your life?”
“I’m going to University of Memphis two days a week.”
“Do you have an ID for the university?”
“Not with me.”
“If you want to come back in next Friday and bring proof that you are going to college I’ll change your charges.”
“$55 plus court costs on the driver’s license and $195 plus court costs on the insurance.”
A man in the courtroom was charged with no proof of insurance and no child restraint and pled guilty to both charges.
“Do you have insurance?”
“Not right now.”
“$295 plus court costs on the insurance and I’ll dismiss the child restraint.”
“Can I pay that Friday?”
“Today is Friday.”
“Set up a payment plan with the ladies at the window.”
A man in court was asked, “How old are you?”
“How do you plead to no insurance?”
“No driver’s license?”
His mother was in the courtroom, “Did he have insurance on the car?”
“Yes, sir. He gave the officer the wrong one that was also in the car.”
“What kind of grades do you make?”
“A’s & B’s.”
“Are you on the football team?”
“Do you have a game tonight?”
“Yes, against Wynne.”
“Momma do you want to pay the fine or would you rather he did four hours community service at the animal shelter?”
“Community service,” she answered quickly.
“You have 30 days to do your community service.
Good luck tonight on the game. Is it your first game of the season?”
Another young man also on the West Memphis football team pled guilty to no driver’s license.
“Do you have one?”
“Why did you drive the car?”
“To get to practice.”
His mother also chose four hours community service for his sentence.
By the Evening Times News Staff