‘If you don’t take your meds, I’m going to give you 30 days’

Judge Thorne helps defendants help themselves

By the Evening Times News Staff news@theeveningtimes.com

After a time of handling cases for some lawyers and others Judge Fred Thorne said to the galley, “Are you ready for me to get going?” “Yes.” “You might not want me to get going too fast, because some of you are going to jail.” A man in jail was charged with loitering and failure to appear. He pled no contest on both charges. “Why didn’t you come to court?” “I was in rehab in Searcy and my dad kept me in a motel for a week before that so I could detox.” “How did you get back in jail?” “I was arrested for driving on suspended.” “Out of Marion?” “Yes.” “What did I give you?” “A fine.” “$205 plus court costs on the loitering. $250 plus court costs on the failure to appear. Now you have more to pay.” A man in jail was told by Judge Thorne, “The police said you were laying in the middle of the road. What’s going on?” “I was intoxicated.” “You told the police you were president of the United States. Where are you from?” “Colorado.” “What were you drinking?” “Whiskey and beer.” “What are you doing here?” “They let me out at the truck stop. My family is all into it.” “Jail, let him out at noon tomorrow. I guess that’s one way to get rid of your family, put them out at the truck stop.” A man in jail pled guilty to public intoxication. “How could you get that drunk on two beers? Were they 32-ounce?” “Yes, sir.” “What do you do?” “I’m a disabled Vet.” “Did you get hurt in the service or after you got out?” “In.” “What year?” “2000.” “Jail, let him out at 5 o’clock for time served. Sir, stop. Pull your pants up. If you are here again I’ll give you some jail time.” Another man in jail was told, “You owe us $365 and haven’t paid in quite a while. How do you plead?” “Nolo.” “You owe us 10 days jail.” “I been in prison. I got out Nov. 23rd.” “Probation violation?” “Yes.” “Release him to come back on Jan. 29. Pay $160 of the fine and the rest by Jan.29.” “If I pay the whole thing, do I have to come back to court?” “Yes. I want to say ‘thank you.’” A man in jail was asked, “How are you doing?” “I’m doing fine. I just want to go back home and read my Bible.” “Are you drunk now?” The man didn’t answer. “You are quiet as a church mouse now. Why don’t you take your meds? Let him out at five today if a family member will pick him up. If you don’t take your meds, I’m going to give you 30 days.” A man in jail who had written two hot checks pled guilty. “You wrote a hot check in January of last year and one in February. Both to Dominos. Why did you write bad checks?” “I lost my job.” “Where do you work now?” “Nowheres.” “$250 plus court costs and 90 days on each charge, consecutive. One year suspended depending on restitution. Be back here February 12 so I can see if I need to put you in jail for Valentines Day.” A woman in jail was charged with disorderly conduct and public intoxication. She pled guilty to both charges. “You were banned from a friends house?” “We were having a card party.” “How much did you have to drink?” “We had a 30 pack.” “How much did you have to drink?” “I think I put down a 12 pack.” “How could you still be able to look at those cards after that much beer? What were you playing, hearts?” “No spades.” “$350 for the public intoxication. I’ll merge the disorderly into the PI.” To the next man in jail, “How are you doing?” “Good. How are you?” “Good. Are you on your meds?” “On the meds.” “Go to mental health and meet with them till they get a bed for you. Let him out at noon today and he is going today for a treatment. Check back with me here next Friday and bring proof that you’ve been going to mental health.” “Thank you sir. God bless you.” A man in jail charged with possession of drugs and public intoxication pled guilty. “This is my first time being in here,” said the defendant. “Aren’t you in school?” “Yes.” “How old are you?” “19. I didn’t understand last time and pled not guilty instead of guilty.” “You had better go back to school if you don’t know the difference in guilty and not guilty. Do you have juvenile charges?” “No, sir.” “Go back and talk to the public defender. I don’t know what I’m going to do with you yet. You were in school and had dope on you. Would you people want him in school with your children while having drugs on him?” “I was going to Burger King with it.” “To sell it at Burger King?” “No.” “Talk to the public defender.” A man in jail charged with public intoxication pled guilty. “Where do you live?”“Jonesboro.” “You had a 1/2 gallon of what?” “Gin.” “You planned on getting pretty drunk. Where were you going?” “The dog track.” “$350 plus court costs.” A man in the courtroom was charged with loitering and pled ‘nolo.’ “I was leaving the dentist office and I decided to stop. I was looking for a house for sale.” “A witness said you were in the neighborhood from 2:50 to 5 p.m. You are lucky I don’t put you in jail. Something is fishy here.” “I pulled on a door but it was locked. I was just walking home from the dentist office.” “Call the dentist and see if he had an appointment that day.” The bailiff came back and reported to Judge Thorne. “Pay court costs and don’t do that again.”


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