Court appearance draws protesters; strong words -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Court appearance draws protesters; strong words

April 20, 2004

Dawson-- Protesters are upset over what they call an excessive fine for 50-year-old Willie McCray. Monday night, McCray went before Judge Henry Williams for re sentencing.

Two weeks ago, McCray was sentenced to 11 years in jail and more than $7,000 in fines for being in contempt of court for repeatedly not cleaning up his yard.

Judge Williams made it clear that neither the protesters nor the media attention was behind his ruling. "I don't run a media, public relations court," said Judge Williams. "I do follow the law and I will stand by a decision I have made regardless of consequences. I have weathered a mighty bigger storm than this my friend."

Judge Williams ordered McCray back on probation, but it's unclear for how long. McCray's attorney argued that the court was out of its jurisdiction by increasing McCray's original probation of 12 months to 142 months.

The Judge says he will rule on the matter after some research. McCray's $7,000 fine is also on hold until a ruling is made.

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