Kanawha County West Virginia Judge James Stucky Says Man Who Stole And Sexually Assaulted Goat While Dressed In Womens Clothing And High On Bath Salts Not Criminally Responsible

September 18, 2012

CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA – A judge says a West Virginia man will not be held criminally responsible for allegedly stealing, sexually assaulting and killing his neighbor’s pygmy goat while high on bath salts.

Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge James Stucky ruled Monday that Mark Lucas Thompson of Alum Creek is not competent for trial on the charges he faces for animal cruelty.

The Charleston Gazette reports that the decision comes after several mental evaluations. Stucky instead ordered that Thompson spend six and a half years in treatment at the William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital in Weston.

Police arrested Thompson in May 2011 after neighbors found him in his room standing next to the dead goat and dressed in women’s clothing. He was indicted for animal cruelty and petit larceny.

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Judges, Lawyers, And Staff From Ninth Federal Circuit Take Hawaii Vacation At Taxpayer Expense – Over A Million Dollars Down The Drain

May 20, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Judges from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, federal district and bankruptcy courts in nine Western states and two Pacific island territories, along with lawyers practicing in those courts, and court staff, will gather at the luxurious Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa from August 13 – 16, 2012 in what looks like a less than valiant attempt to ensure American justice is being served…at a cost to taxpayers of approximately one million dollars.

From tennis courts to the caddy shack and luau experience, justice will be served in a manner many Americans never get to experience. Breitbart News has reviewed a letter from the offices of the Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, Senator Jeff Sessions, and the offices of Senator Chuck Grassley, the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, with several detailed questions they want answered by the Ninth District.

The letter cites the 2010 version of the Ninth Circuit’s annual judicial conference that cost taxpayers over $657,000 in travel costs alone, along with $860,000 in combined travel costs for the Ninth Circuit’s 2008 and 2009 annual conferences in Monterey, California and Sun Valley, Idaho, respectively. It also provides evidence of the Ninth Circuit’s awareness of the Government’s budget challenges in the face of a still suffering Obama economy, going on to challenge why the Ninth Circuit seems determined to go on spending large amounts of money on plush conferences, when a more prudent approach could provide the same value for professional purposes.

The Senate’s latest effort doesn’t appear to be just a bit of politically motivated PR of some form. The Ninth District is considered by many to be the most liberal of all U.S. Court Districts, with 64% of sitting judges having been appointed by Democrats–the highest of all the districts. Many also consider the district as having the highest rate of being overturned by the Supreme Court. Research by Breitbart News suggests other districts are making efforts to cut back, while the Ninth District appears to have maintained a Party on, dude! attitude when it comes to putting on its judicial conferences.

As in past years, the Ninth District seems content to leave taxpayers on the hook for whisking many judges and aligned judicial professionals off to an exclusive destination, so that they might also enjoy “yoga, surfing lessons, stand up paddle board lessons, Zumba (a Latin-inspired dance program), a tennis tournament, a day trip and tour of Upcountry Maui, a Gemini Catamaran snorkle trip, and an activity called ‘The Aloha Experience.'”

That list from the Senate letter appears to have been taken directly from a flashy webpage that functions as a brochure of sorts for the expedition. All of the activities would be subsidized, or paid for by tax payers to some extent, despite a claim at bottom that “Government funds are not used for any sporting or recreational activities”.

What happens in Maui may stay in Maui, but one still has to get there and back, while salaries also have to be taken into account. That was pointed out in a previous report on the Ninth Circuit’s 2011 conference by another news outlet. In 2011, they claimed, “a minimum of $700,000 will be spent on salaries of the 267 judges in attendance, which range from $164,000 to $223,500” for last year’s event. They also reported that each judge was eligible for a $391 per day stipend for hotel and food costs, that could total $417,600 over last year’s four day Ninth Circuit conference.

Meanwhile, independent research by Breitbart News suggests some, if not all other districts, are taking a more prudent, responsible approach in hosting their annual conferences this year. The Eighth Circuit seems to be taking a more modest approach with a three day event, if this is representative: “The judges of the Eighth Circuit invite you to join them August 8 – 10, 2012, at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown for the Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference.”

The Seventh Circuit appears to team up with the District’s Bar Association for a 3 day conference in Chicago, at first glance, at least appearing to be far more down to business oriented. The main site for the Sixth District’s 2012 annual conference is here. It lists a number of what it calls “social” events in this linkable document, and the Sixth Circuit doesn’t appear to have the fancy website, though it looks inviting enough, without going to the length, or approach of the Ninth District, relying instead on typed documents in pdf form to present relevant information.

While deadline prevented Breitbart News from doing an exhaustive analysis of all the districts, there does appear to be a glaring contrast between the Ninth Circuit’s approach and that of many other districts, as pointed out in an August 2011 write up by U-T San Diego, done while the Ninth Circuit was presumeably educating, as well as entertaining and serving justice and itself in grand style–some part of it at taxpayer expense–at the La Costa Resort & Spa with “400 lush garden acres near the beach in Carlsbad, CA–but miles away from the pressures of the world” according to this report.

CARLSBAD — Hundreds of federal judges from nine western states are gathering at the La Costa Resort & Spa this week for the annual 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ Judicial Conference.

The event is costing $225,000 to put on — funded with $50,000 of taxpayer money and $175,000 in payments from attorneys who are charged to attend.

In addition, The Watchdog estimates a minimum of $700,000 will be spent on salaries of the 267 judges in attendance, which range from $164,000 to $223,500.

A conference session Wednesday afternoon highlighted the impact of judiciary budget cuts.

While federal law permits the conference as a means for improving the justice system, some circuits have started canceling or curtailing the conferences, citing budget woes.

Three of the 12 federal court circuits — the ones in New England, the Rocky Mountain states and some mid-Atlantic states — have canceled their next judicial conference, The Watchdog found in a survey.

Others aim to keep costs low by holding conferences at lower cost venues. For the Washington D.C. Circuit, that means Farmington, Penn., where they can stay in $110 per night accommodations.

They may not always get the law right, given what many view as the Ninth Circuit’s high rate of being overturned, but it appears as though they can do a mean “Zumba” and have some darned good tans, while not exactly starving themselves as many Americans continue to look for work in President Obama’s down economy.

In background discussions for this report, the offices of Senators Sessions and Grassley seemed determined to get to the bottom of what’s going on in the Ninth Circuit in this regard. No doubt conservative media and new media outlets will be spanking the bottoms of some mostly liberal judges on conservative blogs and other venues, perhaps as they should, while this story unfolds this week.

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Investigation Centers On Will County Illinois Judge Joseph Polito’s Internet Account Being Used In Attempts To View Hardcore Internet Pornography

April 24, 2012

JOLIET, ILLINOIS – Associate Judge Joseph Polito was trusted with one of Will County’s most notorious heater cases in 2007 when he presided over Plainfield man Craig Stebic’s attempt to divorce his missing wife Lisa.

Now he’s at the center of an unsolved riddle of his own.

Someone using Judge Polito’s computer login and password at the Joliet courthouse has been trying to use county computers to view hardcore Internet pornography, documents obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show.

Polito won’t say if it’s him — but Chief Judge Gerald R. Kinney has apologized “for any embarrassment this incident has caused.” And he’s referred the case to the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board, which has the power to file disciplinary charges that could result in Polito being suspended or even fired.

Among the 243 porn websites somebody using Polito’s county computer account attempted to access are chubbyparade.com, hugeheavybreasts.com, bigbras-club.com, portofdebauchery.com and teenagesextape.com.

Many of the websites have names that can’t be printed in a family newspaper. Several suggest an interest in masturbation and large breasted women. Others cover specialty interests including office sex and older women.

The list of porn websites was logged by Web-filtering software designed to stop county employees from wasting taxpayer time on non-work-related websites.

Tens of thousands of attempts to visit inappropriate websites — typically social networking, chat and shopping sites — are automatically blocked and logged in Will County government every month by the software, which is similar to software used in workplaces across the U.S.

But it wasn’t until the Sun-Times used the Freedom of Information Act to request a copy of the log in May last year that officials say they launched an investigation into the unusual activity on Polito’s computer account.

Chief Judge Kinney insisted for months that documents identifying Polito as the likeliest prolific courthouse porn user were judicial records that the public had no right to see. He finally released them earlier this month, after the Illinois Attorney General’s office wrote in a legal opinion that the list of porn websites was “unrelated to any judicial function [and] is not a judicial record.”

The list covers a six-month period beginning in late 2010. It shows that someone using Polito’s county computer account attempted to view porn on five days in January and April last year.

Polito, who was appointed an associate judge in 2006 and has a computer on the bench of his third-floor courtroom, was assigned as a “floating judge” at the time, records show. He handled traffic, small claims and forfeiture hearings on the days his account was used to try to view porn.

Now assigned to divorce cases, he refused to speak to a Sun-Times reporter about his workplace Internet habits last week. A bailiff who polices Polito’s courtroom said the judge “is not available” for comment.

But a defendant in a small claims case who appeared before Polito on Jan. 4 last year said it would be a “disgrace” if it turns out the judge was looking at porn during court hours.

Andrew Coleman, 53, believes he was treated “unfairly” in several rulings by Polito. His opponent in court was a “young woman in a tight leotard” and Polito “sat there and smiled at everything she said and ignored everything we said,” Coleman said, adding, “Maybe that’s where his mind was — he didn’t seem focused on the facts.”

Judge Kinney disagrees that the alleged porn use had any effect on Polito’s work. The chief judge said there was “no evidence that there’s been any impact on [Polito’s] ability to serve the community as a member of the judiciary.”

In a vaguely worded statement he released with the other Will County Circuit Court Judges, Kinney added that “appropriate steps have been taken to address any underlying issues that led to this behavior.”

He said a probation officer whose account was also used to view porn is no longer employed by Will County but declined to discuss specifics of Polito’s case, saying the matter was a “confidential personnel issue.”

Whoever used Polito’s account was likely frustrated.

Though he or she tried to visit 69 inappropriate websites on April 27 alone, none of those nor any of the other 164 attempts to view porn logged by the filtering software was successful, according to Will County Information, Communications and Technology director Mike Shay.

The software works by blocking websites on a banned list, Shay said. The list of banned sites is updated daily, but the vast amount of pornography published online means it isn’t foolproof, Shay added, making the system vulnerable to a determined and persistent porn hunter.

“Sometimes someone will get through,” he said.

Whether they’re a judge or an office clerk, anyone who uses a computer at work should assume they’re leaving a digital trail that can be tracked by their bosses, according to Daniel Keller, president of Interim HR Consulting.

If you’re at work using a computer and Internet connection supplied by your employer, “There shouldn’t be any expectation of privacy,” he said.

Keller routinely advises clients to install porn-blocking software but said that the biggest problem facing employers is workers using social media during work hours.

“Back in 2007 or 2008, most of the terminations for inappropriate Internet use were related to pornography,” he said. “Now it’s nearly all Facebook and Twitter.”

Whatever you’re looking at, Keller cautioned, “there are tracking mechanisms that go back to the individual user.”

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Man Sentenced To 3 Days In Jail By Autauga County Alabama Judge John Bush For Sagging Pants

April 11, 2012

PRATTVILLE, ALABAMA — A Prattville man was given a three-day jail sentence Tuesday for contempt of court after his wardrobe didn’t pass judicial muster.

LaMarcus D. Ramsey, 20, was in Autauga County Circuit Court to enter a plea on a charge of receiving stolen property. Circuit Judge John Bush took exception to the fact that Ramsey’s blue jeans were sagging too low. The three-day stint will be served in the Autauga Metro jail.

“You are in contempt of court because you showed your butt in court,” a visibly irate Bush told Ramsey. “You can spend three days in jail. When you get out you can buy pants that fit, or at least get a belt to hold up your pants so your underwear doesn’t show.”

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Broward County Florida Judge John Hurley Orders Man To Take Wife On A Day With Bowling And Meal At Red Lobster

February 8, 2012

MIAMI, FLORIDA – Judge John Hurley ruled that a man involved in a dispute with his wife must take her out to dinner and bowling and then get counseling.

Judge John Hurley ruled that a man involved in a dispute with his wife must take her out to dinner and bowling and then get counseling.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a Florida judge ruled on Tuesday that a man involved in a scuffle with his wife treat her to an evening at a local bowling alley and a romantic meal at Red Lobster.

Judge John Hurley ordered that Joseph Bray, 47 and his wife Sonja, 39, also visit a marriage counselor.

Hurley handed down this ruling instead of setting bond or slapping Bray with a prison sentence after he deemed domestic violence charges leveled by Bray’s wife to be “very, very minor.”

According to Bray’s arrest affidavit, Bray and his wife got embroiled in a spat after he failed to wish her a happy birthday. Bray’s wife claims that her husband shoved her against a sofa and grabbed her neck.

The judge, citing Bray’s otherwise clean record and the incident’s apparent lack of serious violence, did not consider Bray’s behavior a major offense. However, Bray must follow the stipulations of Hurley’s ruling very closely if he wants to avoid potential jail time.

“He’s going to stop by somewhere and he’s going to get some flowers,” Hurley said at a hearing, according to Florida newspaper Sun Sentinel. “And then he’s going to go home, pick up his wife, get dressed, take her to Red Lobster. And then after they have Red Lobster, they’re going to go bowling.”

Hurley noted that he would not typically treat a domestic violence charge in a similarly jocular or light-hearted manner.

“The court would not normally [make this ruling] if the court felt there was some violence but this is very, very minor and the court felt that that was a better resolution than the other alternatives,” Hurley said.

According to Google Maps, there is a Red Lobster conveniently located in Plantation, Florida—Bray’s city of residence—adjacent to a Kohl’s and nearby the Broward Mall.

Fortunately for Bray and his wife, the Plantation Red Lobster receives high marks in Google Maps’ Review section.

Google user Georgia Valente writes that “of all the Red Lobsters in South Florida,” the couple’s dinner destination is “quite possibly the best.”

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Harris County Texas Court Sentenced Man To Life In Prison For Of Robbery That Occured While He Was In Jail

December 13, 2011

HOUSTON, TX – LaDondrell Montgomery had his conviction for armed robbery and a life sentence overturned thanks to his attorney discovering he was in jail at the time of the crime.

But he’s still not a free man. The Houston, Texas, felon remains in jail faced with five more robbery charges.

“He learned from his trouble. But he did have a record and I believe that is what kind of got him into trouble now, ” Larry Montgomery, 58, told ABCNews.com. “Some of the people involved [in the cases] knew him from the past, from the neighborhood, and I believe had personal vendettas against him.”

LaDondrell Montgomery, 36, has had several stints behind bars, starting in his twenties, which made it difficult for him to remember whether he was in jail or out on a particular date.

His life sentence for armed robbery, which he received in November, was overturned last Thursday after his attorney realized he had an air tight alibi. He was in jail at the time of the crime.

“My son had previously been in and out of incarceration before and had trouble remembering the dates,” the elder Montgomery said.

LaDondrell Montgomery might not have known where he was on Dec. 13, 2009, but he knew one place where he was not- the check cashing store that was held up by an armed robber.

He insisted throughout the trial that he was not the man in the surveillance footage that was used to convict him and sentence him to life in prison.

Montgomery’s life sentence was thrown out after his attorney, Ronald Ray, scoured his rap sheet and realized he had been in jail at the time on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge and hadn’t been released until nine hours after the crime.

State District Judge Mark Kent Ellis chided Ray and Assistant Harris County District Attorney Alison Baimbridge for being “spectacularly incompetent,” according to the Houston Chronicle.

Baimbridge was unavailable for comment, but told the newspaper that prosecutors are typically barred from questioning suspects.

“That information, everyone would assume, would come from the person in custody,” she said.

Ray told the newspaper the barb didn’t bother him.

“I have freed a man from a life sentence, so if you want to say I’m incompetent for doing that, I’ll accept that with a smile,” he said.

For now, Larry Montgomery, who is a bishop with the Nation of God Ministries, said he hopes his son will be exonerated of the other counts and will return to being a productive member of society, something his father said he trying to do.

“He got married and he had a child,” Montgomery said. “He went to work for the Harris County Flood Control. Every day, all the time. He was trying to turn his life around as a family man.”

It’s unclear whether Montgomery has discovered five more iron-clad alibis to get him out of trouble this time.

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Aransas County Texas Judge William Adams Finally Suspended (But Still Not Charged) After Video Surfaces Of Him Beating His Daughter

November 23, 2011

McALLEN, TEXAS – The Texas Supreme Court suspended a judge Tuesday whose beating of his then-teenage daughter in 2004 was viewed millions of times on the Internet.

Aransas County court-at-law Judge William Adams was suspended immediately with pay pending the outcome of the inquiry started earlier this month by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, according to an order signed Tuesday by the clerk of the state’s highest court.

The order makes clear that while Adams agreed to the commission’s recommended temporary suspension and waived the hearing and notice requirements, he does not admit “guilt, fault or wrongdoing” regarding the allegations. His attorney did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Adams’ now 23-year-old daughter Hillary Adams uploaded the secretly-recorded 2004 video of her father beating her repeatedly with a belt for making illegal downloads from the internet.

William Adams has not sat on the bench since the video went viral. It has been viewed more than 6 million times on YouTube.

The public outcry over the video was so great that in a rare move, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct announced publicly Nov. 2 that it had opened an investigation. A statement from the commission then said that it had been flooded with calls, emails and faxes regarding the video and Adams.

William Adams appeared in court Monday for a day-long hearing regarding the custody of his 10-year-old daughter. His wife had sought a change in their joint custody agreement, and another judge imposed a temporary restraining order effectively keeping William Adams from being alone with his younger daughter until he reached a decision. An order was expected in that dispute Wednesday.

As Aransas County’s top judge, William Adams has dealt with at least 349 family law cases in the past year alone, nearly 50 of which involved state caseworkers seeking determine whether parents were fit to raise their children. A visiting judge has been handling his caseload.

After reviewing the investigation conducted by local police, the Aransas County district attorney said too much time had passed to bring charges against William Adams.

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