Municipal Court or The Jerry Springer Show?

Last night I attended municipal court to see if the new judge, Bill Anderson, was tough on alleged law breakers. At moments, I didn't know if I was in court or the taping of the Jerry Springer Show. Before court started, Judge Anderson couldn't get into the locked room that was once used for executive session. There was a called made and Keenon Johnson walks in with a set of keys that would put a janitor to shame. Who knew there were so many locks at Lumberton's city hall. Johnson fumbled through the large ring of keys and unlocked the door. When she turned around and saw me, she quickly looked away. I guess she realized that I knew she was caught in another lie because weeks ago, she told me she didn't have a key when I was attempting to get access to the minutes in the public records room. I still don't know her exact job title but I don't think lying is a requirement or job description. Shortly afterwards, court began. Cases were called and testimony was given. The building was full but most of those in attendance were spectators. I heard that Tommy Schwartz wasn't a good public defender. Well, he must have had his Wheaties and V8 before court because he was getting cases dismissed left and right. Tne court clerk, Betty Speights, was the embodiment of professionalism. Her cases were organized, she was collecting fines and handing out receipts without skipping a beat. The overall experience was interesting but I'm still troubled by the fact that there was a woman charged with felony assault that walked out after paying a $50 dismissal fee and another woman had to pay a $1,000 fine for disturbing the peace.

Aside from some of the testimony given, there were several things that caught my attention. I think officers should be better prepared when giving testimony. I know people are presumed innocent until proven guilty but I watched one prisioner stand to the side and talk to his mother for at least 45 minutes. Is this normal? There were two other prisoners that were ttken outside for a cigarette break. I guess these are minor issues but the handling of those with inmate gear on seemed a bit laxed. I must say, when the inmates were brought in, most looked like children. As a matter of fact, one inmate was only 17 years old. Maybe it was their youthful appearance or behavior that dictated the treatment they received. It's been a long time since I've attended municipal court and apparently things have changed.

Another moment that caught my attention. There were two brothers accused of burglary. In my mind, I figured the shorter, older brother was the ring leader and he talked his younger, taller brother into committing the crime. While before the judge, the younger brother had his fingers crossed on both hands while the older brother looked like he could care less. When addressing the judge, they were both respectful. After testimony was given, I realized tnere wasn't enough evidence to convict them but the way our justice system is set up. The judge, prosecutor and public defender went into the back room after all testimony was given. Wnen they exited, Judge Anderson started his diatribe before announcing his verdict. He encouraged the young men to use this as a lesson and to read their Bible. Anderson told them to follow the 10 Commandments and they will never find themselves standing before a judge again and then he told them they were released from custodd due to a lack of evidence. I was glad they were given a second chance but the advice the judge gave them was not accurate. You can adhere to all the 10 Commandments, put on sackcloth and ashes and a liar can accuse you of something you didn't do and you'll still end up in court. A corrupt police chief can pervert the interpretation of a law and you can still end up in court. An antiquated law can be enforced and you can end up in court, spend a might in jail and pay a fine. So adhering to the 10 Commandments will not keep you out of court but your relationship with God will ensure your victory. I don't know if a message was sent to other potential lawbreakers that Lumberton is not the place to get arrested. Our court system need some adjustments. Criminals need to know it's not going to be a cake walk.

Comments

  1. Here's a problem. There's always guns being shot and fights taking place over on Myrick and North 10th Street. Why is it that Daniel Wilchezk never responds to these incidents? Don't he live in that area? Didn't he get a free apartment to help defray those type incidents? This past weekend, there was a big fight. I saw Owens and then Guy showed up but no Daniel and it was almost outside his front door. Why is he on the roster? I know you are pro cop but we need good cops that will do their jobs.

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  2. Why would Daniel's baby momma get on social media and claim that she was threatened because he was doing his job. When was that? We must've missed that day. Daniel use that badge to get Bootie.

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  3. I don't think Daniel is the only one at fault. Lumberton needs a drug task force. There's a house on Myrick where all these fights are started. Ms. Annette's house has become a trap house and that's part of the problem. Stake out the house, make a drug bust and seize tbe property like the County did Warren Lewis and I bet a lot of this gang ganging at the Last Lady's house will stop.

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