Reports – 2/2/2007

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 2, 2007

The Panolian: COUNTY REPORTS – February 2, 2007 From the 02/02/07 issue of The Panolian    

Court Report
DUI cases aplently on Municipal Court docket
By Emily Williams

An affiant who had filed charges against four different women in recent months – and then failed to come to court to prosecute any of them – found herself before the judge in Batesville Municipal Court on Wednesday.

Judge Jay Westfaul told Veronica Wren, "When you sign an affidavit, it is a very serious situation; if you file you must be in court to prosecute."

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"The last day I was in court, you signed an affidavit on Paris Green and she appeared and you weren’t here. You also signed against Kalandra Green, Jaylena Robinson and one more," he said.

"I spoke to the court clerk and told her I couldn’t come," Wren replied.

"I am not going to hold you in contempt today, but I wanted to warn you," Westfaul said.

After hearing testimony, Judge Westfaul delayed ruling in order to review the DUI case against Frances Houston, 942 Shady Grove Rd., Sardis. Houston, represented by attorney Tom Womble, was charged with DUI and refusing to submit to a breath analysis test.

Officer Michael Hardin from the Batesville Police Department testified that Houston was "all over" the road and when he pulled her over she said something was wrong with her transmission.

"At first she said she didn’t have anything to drink, but eventually said she had two bourbon drinks around 10 a.m." he said.

Houston said she was pulled over several hours after her drinks and she was going to work.

"I was pulled over three blocks from where I was going to work and I don’t go to work drunk," she said.

Houston is a caregiver for an elderly man.

Houston also testified that she has a chronic lung disorder causing her to have difficulty registering on the "Intoxilizer 8000" test.

Medical records were presented to the judge.

"She took the test, but didn’t refuse," said Womble.

Joe Horton was a witness who testified that Houston was at his house for about two hours before she was pulled over and he never saw her drink or appear to be drunk.

The city’s prosecuting attorney, Parker Still, asked the judge to consider that the officer smelled an intoxicant and that there was probable cause to believe that she was under the influence.

The judge said he wanted to review the records and would render the verdict in writing to both attorneys later.

In another DUI case, the judge reduced the charge against Brett Lott, 143 Faith Drive, Batesville, from DUI-second (refusal) to DUI-first (refusal). Lott was represented by Attorney Dwight Ball who came to an agreement with prosecutor Parker Still. Lott also had a disorderly conduct-failure to comply charge dropped.

He was fined $726 and enrolled in the MASAP program.

LaClear Taylor, 339 Cauthen Circle, Senatobia, was found not guilty of shoplifting and public profanity after the affiant Nicole Wilson from Rue 21 failed to appear to prosecute.

Disorderly Conduct
James Townsel, 204 Clairmont, Sardis, had a disorderly conduct and public drunk case remanded to the files after he told the judge he was having a seizure when the incident occurred.

Townsel’s mother told the judge she called the ambulance because he was having a seizure.

"I woke up in the hospital and didn’t know where I was," said Townsel.

The judge told him that sometimes behavior is like that after a bad seizure.

Christy Moudy, 114 Lawson St., Batesville, entered a guilty plea to disorderly conduct. She was fined $265.

Kenneth M. Smith, 114 Lawson St., Batesville, entered a not guilty plea to possession of marijuana-less than an ounce. He entered a guilty plea to driving while license suspended and also had old fines of $1,367 that have been due since April 2006.
He was previously assigned to 24 days on the city’s work release program. He had returned to court and told the judge he was having surgery, and was told to bring documentation from the doctor to the court office by November 10, 2006, to show date of surgery and to report back to court two weeks after surgery.

Court records show the defendant failed to comply with the orders.

Westfaul advised Smith to bring documentation of medical records and consult with an attorney.

His case will be heard February 7.

Jeremy Wright, 116 Cole Dr., Batesville, entered a not guilty plea to simple assault by threat. He also had old fines of $498 that have been due since June 2006. He told the judge he worked the fines off on the city’s work release program. A trial was set for February 28.

Grand Jury
Lasandra Perry, 112 Dell St., Batesville, was bound over to the grand jury for grand larceny.

Keith Wooten, 123 File Rd., Batesville, was fined $583 for no proof of insurance and also had a previous fine of $183 for no proof of insurance.

He previously told Judge Bill McKenzie that the vehicle he received the no proof of insurance ticket on had been sold and he had insurance on the vehicle he was currently driving.

McKenzie lowered his fine, but he received another ticket in the same vehicle he told the judge he had sold, giving him another no proof of insurance fine.

Calvin Clark appeared in front of the judge to ask for an extension on the old fines of $425 he owed.
Court documents showed that he had already paid $2,389 and the judge told him to have the rest of his fines paid in full within 60 days or serve 30 days in jail.

Clark is unable to work on the city’s work program due to health reasons.

Sheriff’s Report
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Restaurant Inspections
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Marriage Licenses
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Divorces Granted
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