| By Rita Howell
A felony case of embezzlement at a Batesville store will be heard in Panola County circuit court, according to Municipal Judge Bill McKenzie, presiding at the Wednesday session of city court.
Latoya Spraggin of 348 Greg Taylor Road, Courtland, is charged with embezzling $2,000 worth of clothing from It’s Fashion, where she was employed. Municipal court is a misdemeanor court and cases involving felonies are heard in circuit court.
The felony case of Antonio Ellis of 109 Everette St., Batesville, was referred to the Panola County grand jury. Judge McKenzie reduced Ellis’ bond to $2,500.
He is charged with felony fleeing from an officer, reckless driving, and four other vehicle violations.
Contempt of Court
Five defendants came before Judge McKenzie facing contempt of court charges for failure to pay old fines.
Lorentz Mosely of Calvery St., Batesville, was ordered to pay an old fine of $610 plus a current fine of $340 for driving while his license is suspended. The total fine is due March 18.
David Flowers was ordered to pay within 30 days a $274 fine he has owed since 1998.
Susan Benson of 3376 Eureka Rd., Batesville, was ordered to pay an old fine of $525 within 60 days.
Felisha Sanford of 3376 Eureka Rd., Batesville, is to satisfy total old fines of $1,290 by performing 32 days of public service in the city’s work release program. Participation in the work program is an option for defendants who cannot pay their fines.
Judge McKenzie ordered Willie Benson Jr. of 3376-A Eureka Rd., Batesville, to pay a fine of $628 he has owed since 2001. The fine is due in full in 30 days.
Roman Milam of 611 Shiloh Rd., Courtland, was ordered to pay old fines of $2,130. He opted to enroll in the work release program for 52 days.
A charge of simple assault brought against Milam by Connie Henderson was dismissed after the affiant failed to appear in court to prosecute.
Ira Anderson II of 228 Henry Harris Rd., Batesville, was found guilty of stealing $15 worth of garbage bags from the bathroom of the Murphy USA gas station near Wal-Mart.
He was ordered to pay a fine of $295 within 30 days, and to stay away from the Murphy station.
"Buy your gas someplace else," the judge told Anderson.
Robert Bridges of 311 Willa St., Batesville, pleaded guilty to simple assault. The charge was filed by Katie Hester on behalf of her teenage son. Bridges did not deny the assault, but testified that he had responded to his seven-year-old daughter’s claim that the teen had kicked her in the stomach.
"I appreciate your honesty," the judge told Bridges.
"We all make mistakes. We don’t need to make them again. Dealing with children requires us to have patience."
He imposed a fine of $255, due in 30 days.
Judge McKenzie dismissed charges of simple assault filed against three defendants after the affiants failed to appear in court to prosecute the charges.
Bobbie Fane failed to appear to prosecute James Gardner of 710 W. Man, Charleston; Nancy Butler did not appear to prosecute Mary Burgess of 150 Martin Luther King, Batesville; Denise Watkins did not come to court to testify against Jamalyn Pollard of 15 Butler Rd., Batesville.
The case of Rodney Ladd of 1105-B Hawkins Rd., Courtland, was continued. He faces forgery charges. In the meantime, Judge McKenzie sentenced him to 60 days in jail for failure to pay an old fine of $967, imposed in 2001.
Also continued was the case of Tammy Mitchell of 114 Lawson, Batesville, and Tracy Barksdale of #8 Timerridge Apts., Batesville, each accused by the other of domestic violence. The case will be heard on January 26. Bond for each was set at $1,500.
Failure to appear
Judge McKenzie issued warrants for the arrests of two defendants who failed to appear in court January 19. Calvin Market of 3408-B Eureka Rd., Batesville owes $1,329 in fines from 2003, and Aaron Handy of 150 Martin Luther King, Batesville, owes $425 from August, 2004.
Charlene G. Smith of 115 Autumn Ave., Batesville, was fined $140 for running a red light.
Billy Green of 220 Broadway, Batesville, was fined $439 for no driver’s license and expired tag.
Everette Mixon of 210 Georgia, Batesville, pleaded not guilty to speeding and no turn signal. His case will be heard January 25.
Robert Barksdale of 1732 Terza Road, Batesville, was fined $1,746 for driving while his license is suspended for a previous DUI and no proof of insurance.
Those failing to appear for tickets were John Brandon Hill of 95 S. Pine Lake Drive, Batesville, charges with careless driving, no driver’s license and no proof of insurance; and Ayunna Jackson of 707 Leatha Wiley Rd., Sardis, charged with speeding and driving while her license is suspended.
Sandra Smith of Public Square, Batesville, asked for and received an extension on the date her fine is due. She was ordered to pay fines and restitution totaling $780 by February 19.