Spectator gets warning after trying to film in courtroom
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There were 49 defendants on Division 3 Circuit Judge Charles E. Clawson’s docket Monday. Thirty-three of those faced drug charges.
As one case proceeded, a court spectator landed himself in hot water when he was seen recording the events. No cameras are allowed in the courtroom. Clawson had the cell phone of a man who identified himself as Isaac Barger seized. He kept the phone until near the end of the day, then delivered a lecture to Barger.
Clawson said he had heard that a Little Rock television station had urged Barger to make the recording. He said recordings are allowed only if he permits them and he did not.
The judge said he was not sure how to make sure the recording was erased, and he warned Barger that if any of the footage showed up on TV, Facebook, Twitter or anywhere, he would cite Barger with contempt of court.
“I am plain now, am I not?” Clawson asked Barger.
Barger said he was and apologized to the court.
The case Barger was recording was that of Jerry Hausler who had been facing three counts of failure to register as a sex offender or report address change. Two of those counts were nol prossed Monday, and Hausler was ordered to be back in court Dec. 19 for sentencing. In the meantime there will be a pre-sentencing investigation. The plea deal was offered to the court with no recommendation from the state.
In other cases:
• The court was closed as pretrial motions were made in the rape case of David Ray Cook. He is set for a jury trial Nov. 5.
• A $20,000 bond was set for Timothy Turnbow after his attorney noted that Turnbow had been in jail for 75 days. Deputy Prosecutor Graham Jones said one reason Turnbow has been in jail so long is that he has changed attorneys. Turnbow is facing a probation revocation hearing. He was charged with drug and paraphernalia possession and maintaining a drug premises in 2011. He was arrested again in August 2013 on charges of false imprisonment, terroristic threatening and domestic battery. He is scheduled to be back in court on Dec. 19.
• Terry Upchurch was sentenced to a 12-month suspended imposition of sentence on a charge of possessing drug paraphernalia. A charge of possession of a controlled substance was nol prossed.
• Gary Orton received 60 months probation on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. Two misdemeanor drug counts were nol prossed.
• Stephanie Willard received 60 months probation and was ordered to pay restitution after pleading guilty to a charge of forgery.
• Jonathan Wesley James, 25, was sentenced to 60 months in the Department of Correction after acknowledging he violated terms of his probation.
• Sheldon Ray Poole received 24 months in the DOC after acknowledging violating probation rules. He also received a 24-month suspended sentence.
• Charles Hicks was ordered back in court on Dec. 12. He did not have an attorney in court. Two public defenders have said they have a conflict and cannot defend him, and the public defender’s office sent word that it has found someone to take his case, but that attorney was not in court Monday. Hicks asked to be allowed to defend himself, but Clawson said he was not comfortable with that scenario at this point.