March 25, 2014

Charles Oliver: ‘Judge’ experiences contempt of court

Charles Oliver

— • TV’s “Judge” Joe Brown, who is a former Tennessee judge, was sentenced to five days in jail for contempt of court after becoming verbally abusive towards a Memphis juvenile court judge. Brown had come to the court to represent a client in a child support case, but he reportedly became upset when court workers told him that case wasn’t on the agenda that day.

• Lawmakers in the United Kingdom want to know how the entire National Health Service  (NHS) hospital patient database was uploaded onto Google servers outside the country. This is the latest concern that legislators have raised recently about how well the NHS protects patient privacy as the agency pushes forward with a plan that could digitize all of the nation’s health records and make them available to private companies and other government departments.

• Over the 10 years since Texas executed Cameron Todd Willingham for setting a house fire that killed his three daughters it has become increasingly evident that the state killed an innocent man. Now, it has come to light that the prosecution may have concealed a deal with a jailhouse informant whose testimony was key to convicting him. Johnny Webb testified that Willingham confessed the whole crime to him. The prosecutor in the case, who went on to become a judge, has always denied cutting any deal with Webb, but attorneys trying to win an exoneration for Willingham recently found a note in the prosecution’s file on Webb saying to change the charge against him to second-degree robbery, not the first-degree robbery he’d initially been charged with, “based on coop in Willingham.”

• California’s Antioch Unified School District has agreed to pay $8 million to settle complaints from the families of eight special needs kindergartners. The families say teacher Theresa Allen-Caulboy held one student to the ground and “gouged his face,” pinched another’s nipples and called him a retard, and hit others with the back of her hand. Allen-Caulboy pleaded guilty to one felony count of child abuse and two misdemeanor counts. She was sentenced to 45 days in county jail and four-and-a-half months home detention.

• An Oakland County, Mich., sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to 18 months probation, 250 hours of community service and ordered to pay a $2,500 fine after pleading guilty to two counts of a moving violation causing death. Dennis Alvis was on duty when he ran a red light at 65 mph and collided with another vehicle, killing two people. He was on his way to assist other deputies but did not have his siren on.

Charles Oliver is a staff writer for The Daily Citizen.