A Bradley County man’s quest to have the Cleveland city manager and a councilman charged for ripping up his protests signs came to naught Tuesday, reports the Chattanooga TFP. Dan Rawls said Bradley County General Sessions Judge Sheridan Randolph refused to issue criminal summonses for City Manager Janice Casteel or Councilman George Poe on charges of vandalism, criminal trespass and official oppression.
After meeting with the judge to make his request, Rawls said Randolph told him that even if he signed the papers, the prosecutor’s office was likely to dismiss the charges.
The two city officials ripped up protest signs Rawls posted in front of his business, Cleveland Performance Center, when Gov. Bill Haslam was appearing across the street on July 11. Rawls said the hand-painted sign saying, “Haslam, shame on u,” was to protest the governor’s support for Common Core educational standards.
Poe said afterward that the signs were an embarrassment to the city and that they were on city right of way.
Photos showed them near a stop sign and a utility pole, but it’s hard to determine whether they are within the 6-foot right of way
Amal Abdullahi is the first person in Davidson County to be arrested under the state’s anti-terrorism laws, reports The Tennessean. along with the observation that charges have rarely been upheld when applied in other cases elsewhere in Tennessee. Abdullahi, 29, was arrested Sept. 6, on the charge after a co-worker at CEVA Logistics accused her of saying that America was full of unbelievers who should die and that she should pick up a gun and shoot everyone. She’s one of only nine people The Tennessean has been able to identify in the state as having been arrested on terrorism-related charges since the laws went into effect in 2002.
All but one of the defendants whose cases came to a conclusion had their charges dismissed or were convicted on lesser charges.
State Sen. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, who supported the state’s 2002 terrorism laws, says there could be a lot of reasons that terrorism charges are often reduced or dropped.
“There could be extenuating circumstances; the individual could be mentally ill. They could have made it (the threat) in the heat of some emotional distress and really not meant it. I think one would probably have to look at the intent of the individual, did they really mean that,” McNally said. “And I think that’d be something that the district attorney general would take into account, whether the individual could actually do it or not.”
…Abdullahi is free on $50,000 bond after family was able to post her bail. She is expected to be in court Oct. 10 and has retained Nashville attorney David Raybin.
“Due to the gravity of the charges against her, I feel that it’s inappropriate for us to discuss the specifics of the charge, other than to deny the allegations,” Raybin said. “She is certainly a devout Muslim and respects her religion and respects other people’s religions.”
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State Rep. Curry Todd’s arraignment on drunken driving and weapons charges has been delayed until next week.
The Collierville Republican was arrested in October after failing a roadside sobriety test. A loaded .38-caliber gun was found stuffed in a holster between the driver’s seat and center console.
Todd was scheduled to be arraigned Friday on charges of drunken driving, possession of a firearm while under the influence and violating the state’s implied consent law for refusing a breath alcohol test. But the hearing was delayed until Sept. 14.
Todd was a main sponsor of a state law allowing handgun carry permit holders to bring weapons into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. It’s unclear where Todd was traveling from at the time of his arrest.
By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — State Rep. Curry Todd can keep his handgun carry permit despite being indicted on drunken driving and weapons charges, the state Safety Department said Tuesday.
Safety spokeswoman Jennifer Donnals said the Collierville Republican can continue to be armed in public while the case is pending. A drunken driving conviction would cause the permit to be suspended for one year, she said.
Todd, 64, is a retired Memphis police officer and a chief architect of a state law to allow handgun carry permit holders to be armed in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.
He was arrested during a Nashville traffic stop in October after failing a roadside sobriety test. A loaded .38-caliber gun was found stuffed in a holster between the driver’s seat and center console.
A Davidson County grand jury has formally returned an indictment against state Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville, who was arrested last October on DUI and gun charges, reports The Tennessean. Todd’s attorney said Friday’s indictments were not a surprise. In addition to the criminal indictments, Todd was indicted on a charge of implied consent, a civil offense that can lead to loss of a driver’s license.
“This is part of a normal process,” Nashville attorney Worrick Robinson said. “We have been expecting this to happen at some point. We’ll address the issues and the charges when required in court.”
Despite the arrest, Todd, who is a retired police officer, does not face opposition for his House seat.
Speaker of the House Beth Harwell said Monday that the indictments will make it “difficult if not impossible” for Todd to be restored to his powerful post as chairman of the House State and Local Government Committee, which he resigned after his arrest.
“Certainly I respect the legal system,” Harwell said. “I think all along Rep. Todd and I have both said we will abide with the decision of the judicial system. So clearly we will. I’ll think through what action will take place at the legislative level, but certainly it will impact.”
…No arraignment date has been set on the case, according to district attorney spokeswoman Susan Niland.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State Rep. Curry Todd waived a preliminary hearing on drunken driving and weapon charges and his case was sent to a grand jury on Tuesday.
The Collierville Republican lawmaker’s case was in General Sessions Court in Nashville before Judge Michael F. Mondelli.
Todd was arrested on charges of drunken driving and carrying a loaded handgun while intoxicated when police stopped his vehicle in a neighborhood near Vanderbilt and Belmont universities on Oct. 11. He’s also charged with violating Tennessee’s implied consent law by refusing to submit to a breath-alcohol test.
Todd is a retired Memphis police officer and the main architect of a state law allowing handgun carry permit holders to be armed in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.
He stepped down as chairman of the House State and Local Government Committee after his arrest.
Worrick Robinson, Todd’s attorney, told reporters outside the courtroom that prosecutors could have used a new statute and scheduled a hearing on the implied consent issue, but waived their opportunity and bound it over with the other charges.
Todd did not talk to the media. However, Robinson said the case is “weighing heavily” on his client.
“You want to try to resolve your case,” Robinson said. “But if you’re going to resolve it, you have to resolve it in a way that you can live with, and that you’re comfortable with. And we’re not there.”
Robinson said he’s not sure when the grand jury will get the case. Until then, he said he will continue to review it to make sure decisions are made that are in Todd’s best interest.
“You can’t always evaluate the case totally early on,” Robinson said. “This would give us some additional time to look at everything, to make sure we’ve covered all the bases and decide whether or not there’s an opportunity to work out or resolve the case with the DA’s office.”
Former Dyer County Sheriff Tommy Cribbs is awaiting sentencing by a federal judge after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors last month on federal gun charges, reports the Dyersburg State Gazette. According to court records, Cribbs was charged with numerous counts of unlawful transport of firearms on or about June 18 and June 21, 2011. The plea agreement, filed in open court in Memphis in front of Chief Judge Jon Phipps McCalla, states Cribbs will plead guilty to one count of unlawful transport of firearms and three other counts of the same will be dismissed at sentencing.
He will also not be prosecuted in state court in Dyer County for the arson charge that alleges he burned down a house located at 1035 Newbern-RoEllen Road on Feb. 26, 2011. A Dyer County Grand Jury handed down an indictment on this charge in June.
Also, Cribbs was indicted on a charge of attempted arson stemming from the same residence.
By Travis Lollar, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Nashville judge on Monday dismissed trespassing and other citations against 55 Occupy Nashville protesters and ordered their records expunged.
“We won again,” protester Dorsey Malina said after a brief hearing.
The ruling was the latest in a series of defeats for Gov. Bill Haslam’s attempt to dislodge the group with a curfew on the grounds around the state Capitol.
Afterward, Haslam signaled in an interview with The Associated Press that the fight to remove the protesters, or at least curtail their activities, was not over. He said new rules for the space are in the works, and his administration is developing them in cooperation with constitutional lawyers and people who use the space.