| By Rita Howell
Fourth of July fireworks bought with forged checks resulted in a lengthy hearing in Batesville Municipal Court on Wednesday.
Judge Bill McKenzie patiently listened to testimony from fireworks retailer Barbara Wallace who’d driven down from Missouri to get the case resolved.
Candace Collins of 304 Jones St., Jonestown, was charged with false pretense in the incident which occurred June 30 in Batesville at a fireworks stand in the Fred’s parking lot.
Judge McKenzie found Collins guilty of uttering forgery – passing a forged check – after she admitted that she knew the friend she had accompanied to the fireworks store was using fake identification as she (the friend) attempted to use stolen checks to buy $800 worth of fireworks.
Collins said she did not get any fireworks on her visit to the shop, and Wallace agreed that she did not.
Still at large in the case is a second defendant who Collins said was responsible for the stolen checks and did leave with hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise.
"Is is unusual for someone to purchase that many fireworks?" Judge McKenzie asked Wallace.
"No," Wallace said. "People in Mississippi buy fireworks like candy. We’ve never seen anything like it."
Collins was ordered to pay a fine of $295.
Jayson Dishmon of 428 Taylor St., Como, was tried in his absence and found guilty of shoplifting. He did not come to court to answer the charge.
Becky Moore of Movie Gallery testified that Dishmon had shoplifted a DVD movie.
Judge McKenzie imposed a fine of $595.
Possession of paraphernalia
Brandon Frederick of 432 Tubbs Road, Batesville, pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of paraphernalia and was fined $294.
Chasidy Beavers of Highway 315, Batesville, pleaded guilty to simple assault and was sentenced to six days in jail, which she had already served.
Cases to grand jury
Cases referred to the Panola County grand jury include: William Moore of 80 Bethel Road, Marks, charged with possession of precursors and shoplifting; Shalanda Flowers of 204 Claude St., Batesville, charged with aggravated assault; Chris Ladd of 119 1/2 Field St., Batesville, charged with felony fleeing, no driver’s license and running a stop sign; Jonathan Parker of 302 Patton Lane, Batesville, charged with aggravated assault.
Contempt of court
The City of Batesville continues to prosecute cases each week involving individuals who’ve failed to pay previously imposed fines. Judge McKenzie found three defendants guilty Wednesday.
Mark Milam of 6079-A Eureka Road, Courtland, was sentenced to 20 days in jail in lieu of cash payment of his old fine of $500.
Charles Chandler of 1615 Ales Road, Batesville, had an old fine and a new one to deal with. He was charged on February 15 with driving while his license is suspended. The license is suspended because he failed to pay a previously imposed fine of $300. Judge McKenzie found him guilty of both and imposed total fines of $640.
Kerrick Hughes of 4727 Eureka St., Batesville, was ordered to serve a 30-day jail sentence for his failure to pay $1,111 in contempt of court fines.
Judge McKenzie dismissed charges of stalking and malicious mischief filed against John Woods of 303 Walls Road, Batesville, by Heather McCullar, who failed to appear in court to prosecute the case.
The judge also ordered dismissal of a charge of domestic violence-simple assault filed against Ronald Lancaster of 128 Patton Lane, Batesville, by Rosalind Joiner, who also failed to come to court to prosecute.
Judge McKenzie told defendant Lonnie Fuqua of 200 Calvary St., Batesville that he "got lucky" as he dismissed charges of DUI and no tag which had been filed by a police officer who is no longer with the Batesville department and was not in court to testify in the case.
Tamesha Thornton of 3003-A Seven Road, Batesville, had her case continued for medical reasons. She is charged with simple assault.
Jerry McBrayer of 201-B Patton Lane, Batesville, had his case continued to allow him opportunity to bring proof that he has been hospitalized and unable to comply with court orders to pay a contempt of court fine of $855.
Judge McKenzie set a March 9 trial date for the case of Luandrew Williams of 309 School St., Clarksdale, charged with contempt of court for failure to pay old fines of $1,249.
Timothy Rodgers of 825 Floyd’s Island, Sardis, failed to appear in court to answer charges of domestic violence and contempt of court.
Also failing to appear was Tommy Oliver of 213 Willa St., Batesville. He is charged with public drunk.
Eric Towns of 705 Jones St., Crenshaw, failed to appear to answer a contempt of court charge for failure to pay old fines.
Omah Jones of 278 E. Shiloh Road, Courtland, did not appear in court to answer a contempt of court charge.
Laketa Taylor of 322 Panola Ave., Batesville, was ordered to serve 42 days in the city work release program. The judge added five days to her original sentence because she had not complied with the program’s rules.
Latasha Harris of 3671 Bethlehem Road, Batesville, was enrolled in the work program for eight days to satisfy a contempt of court fine.
Calvin Armstead of 1055 Tom Cooper, Batesville, was found guilty of no child restraint and driving while his license is suspended. He was ordered to pay total fines of $215, due in 30 days.
Jason McClay of 107 Martin Luther King Dr., Batesville, was found guilty of careless driving and was enrolled in a driving school which will allow the fine to be waived and the incident to be kept off his records.
Maurice C. Taylor of 58 Otto Sanford, Courtland, was found guilty of driving while his license was suspended (implied consent), and no proof of insurance. He was fined $1,746, due March 23.
Jason Kitchkeg of 219 Vance, Batesville, was found guilty of two charges of driving while his license is suspended. He was fined $680, due in 30 days.
Alma Marie Reeves of 6505 Curtis Road, Batesville, was found guilty of speeding and was fined $92.
Barry Jones Jr. of 128 Sarah Dickens Road, Sardis, was found guilty of careless driving and was fined $115.