| Municipal courtroom filled to capacity for Wednesday’s session
By Emily Williams
There was not an empty chair in Batesville Municipal Court Wednesday.
Judge Bill McKenzie heard several trials one ending with the defendant asking for an appeal bond after the trial was over.
Delilah Johnson, 222 Noble St., Batesville, was found guilty of disorderly conduct-failure to comply and resisting arrest after an incident at the home of her sister Angela Draper on Noble Street.
Batesville police officers Jud Moore, Sgt. Ruby Myers and Josh Hobbs testified that they’d gone to the residence to arrest Kentrell Wiley (a.k.a. "Diggs") after receiving an anonymous tip that he had been seen at that address. Police had an outstanding warrant for Wiley’s arrest.
Officer Jud Moore told Judge McKenzie he was checking around outside the home when he saw Sgt. Myers in a "struggle" with Angela Draper, the defendant’s sister. (Draper has misdemeanor charges of assault on an officer and disorderly conduct pending in city court.)
"Johnson came around from the back of the house and I told her not to interfere or enter the house. She was screaming and being loud, saying that her sister was pregnant and not to arrest her," Moore said.
Moore told the judge he told Johnson several times not to enter the house and not to interfere with the arrest.
He added that Johnson failed to comply with his instruction and she was charged with disorderly conduct-failure to comply.
Sgt. Ruby Myers testified that she was in the process of making an arrest on Johnson’s sister (Draper) and Moore told Johnson to stay back. Johnson proceeded to come into the house instead.
Johnson testified that the police officers were at her sister’s house, 221 Noble Street, when her sister (Draper) called and told her that police had a warrant for the arrest of Kentrell Wiley.
"Officer Moore was in the back messing with her (Draper’s) dogs," Johnson said.
"She was on the phone with her lawyer, asking if the officers had a right to mess with her dogs," Johnson added.
"My sister told me her attorney said to tape record everything, so I went to my house to get my camera," Johnson said.
"When I started to record, the officer told me to shut up and put his hands in my face," she added.
"They arrested me because I was recording the lady officer," Johnson said.
"The officers couldn’t get a search warrant and the individual was not in our house."
Angela Draper testified that Sgt. Ruby Myers knocked on her door around 8 a.m. and asked if Kentrell Wiley "Diggs" was in the house and "I asked if she had a search warrant."
Draper said as she attempted to call her attorney back, Myers told her to put the phone down and Hobbs slapped the camera out of Johnson’s hand.
"Myers said I was being charged with disorderly conduct for not putting the phone down when she asked me to and she pushed me, so yea, I pushed her back," Draper said.
"Hobbs slapped the camera out of my sister’s hand and pushed her down with his knee on the couch, then Hobbs came in while I was outside and erased everything on the camera," said Draper.
The judge read over the incident report for several minutes and asked, "Myers, were you injured?"
"Yes I was kicked twice," Myers answered softly.
"Do ya’ll know who called?" McKenzie asked.
"The caller wanted to stay anonymous, but said they saw Wiley enter that residence." Myers said.
Draper said Wiley had never been at her house.
Johnson said that Wiley had been at the house a few days prior and his car had been parked in front of the residence for several days.
The judge took a moment before he ruled and explained to the defendant, "The court has listened to reports and we try to make the right decision. Half of the people will agree and half of the people will not agree.
"The law in this state gives police officers, firefighters, ambulance, etc. the right to be obeyed and citizens are required to obey. During an arrest or fire or wreck, those should do as instructed.
"I am not saying that everything was done right, but you as a citizen should obey the law. If we cooperate this wouldn’t have happened. If Wiley wasn’t in your house, then you should have said ‘he’s not here’ and let them search your house."
Delilah Johnson was found guilty and fined $870.
Her appeal bond was set at $1,500.
In another trial, Cassandra Rudd, 9664 Hwy. 51 South, Courtland, had no fine imposed for no child restraint and was fined $184 for expired tag.
Rudd testified that she had her daughter in a child restraint when Officer Jud Moore pulled her over and she was "leaning" up out of her car seat when the officer saw her and thought she wasn’t in the child restraint.
"We even have a race when we get in the car to see who can put their seatbelt on the fastest," Rudd said.
Officer Moore said the child didn’t appear to be in a restraint when he drove by her.
City prosecuting attorney Parker Still agreed to remand to the court files charges of abuse, neglect and exploitation forbidden which had been filed against Lawanda Holcomb, 2628 Bethlehem Rd., Batesville. The charges were remanded pending six months’ good behavior. Holcomb was defended by attorney Jimmy McClure.
Contempt of court
Marquis Fletcher, 712 Bethlehem, Batesville, was ordered to pay total fines of $1,146 or serve six months in jail. He had old fines of $526 that have been due since January 2006 and a new fine of $610 for taking $10 worth of gas from Kelly’s One Stop.
As attorney Helen Kelly approached the bench the judge thought she was representing Fletcher, but she informed the judge that she was the victim of the theft.
The judge asked the young man whose car he was driving and he said it was his mother’s but didn’t want to tell the judge who his mother was.
McKenzie asked Kelly if she wanted Fletcher’s family banned from the premises and Kelly said she would talk to Fletcher in the back and find out who his parents are.
"I might know his parents," Kelly said.
Teresa Brooks, 203 Deaton St., Batesville, had old fines of $353 that have been due since August 2006 and a new fine $304 for possession of paraphernalia (crack pipe), making her total fines $657.
"I would like the opportunity to work on the city’s work program," Brooks said.
"The work program is full," the judge said.
"I guess give me as much time as you can give me and I will pay it. I haven’t had a job in a while," Brooks said.
The judge gave her 30 days to have the fine paid in full or she will serve 90 days in jail.
"You have enough money to buy crack you should be able to figure something out," the judge added.
Denarrious Hooks, 2016 Brandywine, Oxford, had old fines of $435 that have been due since April 2006.
Hooks was arrested for failure to pay old fines.
"So you paid a bail bondsman money to get out of jail, but you don’t have money to pay your fine?" Judge McKenzie asked.
"Do I need to put you back in jail?"
"No, I can work it off," Hooks responded.
"The work program is full, so you sit down and figure out what you are going to do," the judge said.
Hooks sat down as court proceeded and as he was called back to the stand told the judge he would have the money in 30 days.
"If you don’t have the money in 30 days, you will serve 90 days in jail," the judge responded.
Christy Moudy, 2788 Barnacre Rd., Batesville, had old fines of $938 that have been due since March 2006.
Moudy was also arrested for the contempt charges and paid a bail bondsman to get out of jail.
Judge McKenzie asked, "You made bond and you can’t come up with the money?"
"Do you want to serve it out? It’s the last step we have," McKenzie said.
During court the judge let Moudy call family members to see if they could help her with the old fines.
After sitting through several cases, the judge asked Moudy her plans and she responded, "My family said they will help me, but they are at work now."
The judge gave her until November 10 (today) to have the fine paid in full or serve 90 days.
Jayunn Whitten, 117 Hoskins Rd., Batesville, told the judge he could pay his fines of $1,605 in full within 30 days.
"I have a job and I promise I can pay you the full amount in cash when I get paid," Whitten said.
"At least you have a plan unlike the rest of the folks up here," McKenzie responded.
Whitten was released from custody after court.
Kedric Hunt, 108 Autumn, Batesville, paid his old fines of $844 in full prior to court. They have been due since August 2006.
Kendall Diggs, Eureka Rd., Batesville, told the judge he could pay his old fines of $373 that have been due since March 2002 in full November 15.
He too will serve 90 days in jail if he does not pay the full amount.
Elgin Lamar, 101 Tindall Cove, Batesville, entered a "not guilty" plea to domestic violence-simple and a "not guilty" plea to careless driving. Even though he entered a guilty plea to disorderly conduct-failure to comply and driving while license suspended, he will be fined for those charges November 29 at his trial for careless driving and domestic violence.
John Wilson, 118 Ozbirn, Batesville, entered a "not guilty" plea to domestic violence-simple and entered a guilty plea to open container. He will have a trial December 6.
Walter Ware, 100 Latisha St., Batesville, entered a guilty plea to DUI-refusal and a guilty plea to careless driving.
"The medication my doctor gave me made it worse. It is the first time I have had a drink in 30 years," Ware said.
He was fined $857.
Jerome Thomas, 100 Woods St., Batesville, was transferred to the circuit court for charges of grand larceny and statutory rape.
Jonathan Adair, 91-E Elbert Smith, Batesville, was transferred to circuit court for grand larceny.
Keith Welch, 2273 White Oaks, Greenville, was transferred to circuit court for grand larceny.
Jaqueline Smith requested a second change on the city’s work program.
"I left early because I was hurting," Smith said.
She was given an extra 5 days to work for a penalty.
Janis Smith also told the judge she was on the city’s work program, but left early because her mother was sick.
"I am sorry it happened, but it won’t happen again," Smith said.
The judge added five days to her total work days and told her to not let it happen again.
"Common sense would tell you that if you don’t cooperate, you will go to jail," the judge said.
Kenneth Smith told the judge he wanted to finish the work program, but he is supposed to have surgery and he missed a day and has a doctor’s excuse, but the excuse is in the post office box that belongs to his mother and his mother is out of town.
The judge told Smith to bring his excuse to city hall and told him he could continue the work program after his surgery.
Amanda J. Bowles, 203 Deaton St., Batesville, was fined $275 for expired tag and no proof of insurance. Both tickets were reduced after she provided proof she got her tag reinstated and purchased insurance after the ticket was issued.
Michael Rayford, 112 Eureka St. Pecan Grove, Batesville, was fined $512 for driving while license suspended and a stop sign violation.
Tyesha Stewart, 202 Butler Rd., Batesville, was fined $583 for no proof of insurance.
"Did you drive up here today?" the judge asked Stewart.
"Yes," she replied.
"So you are driving with no insurance? That is unbelievable!" McKenzie said.
Arthur Pollard, 7837 Curtis Rd., Batesville, was fined $281 for no driver’s license.
Pollard who is 15 had his mother standing beside him. She said she knew he was driving when he got the ticket.
"We are supposed to teach our children to obey the law, not to break it," the judge said.
Ashley Pope, 327 E. Lee St., Sardis, had a no proof of insurance fine reduced to $183 after she provided proof she received insurance after the ticket was issued.
Randy A. Brassell, 9718 Hwy. 51 South, Courtland, was fined $356 for driving while license suspended and a reduced fine of $183 for a no proof of insurance ticket.
David S. Rogers, 126 Batesville Dr., Batesville, was fined $1,095 for stop sign violation, driving while license suspended and no proof of insurance.