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COURTWATCH - Houston and Henry County

Rickey Stokes

Viewed: 4891

Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jan 15 2019 10:24 PM

20th JUDICIAL CIRCUIT - HOUSTON & HENRY CO:     The Circuit and District County Judges of the 20th Judicial Circuity are in court this week.

The Circuit Court Judges have criminal jury trials in Houston County which started Monday.

HONORABLE DISTRICT COURT JUDGE BENJAMIN LEWIS:    On Monday January 14, 2019 Judge Lewis had 53 District Criminal Cases, and one Protection From Abuse hearing.

On Tuesday January 15, 2019 Judge Lewis had 3 District Civil cases and 18 Small Claims cases.

In addition to the cases docketed Judge Lewis handled Initial Appearance of persons arrested and where no bond had been made. Initial Appearance Hearings are advisory in nature where the Judge just advises the defendant of the charges they are facing, the bond amounts if any, do they have an attorney, and if not one can be appointed if they qualify. In Initial Appearance Hearings no decisions of a substantial nature are made other than the appointment of an attorney if they qualify.

HONORABLE CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE BUTCH BINFORD     On Monday January 14, 2019 Judge Binford had 30 Circuit Criminal Cases set for trial. One of those was a murder case. This case did not go to trial because the defense attorney was in Birmingham for medical issues of a personal nature.

On Tuesday January 15, 2019 Judge Binford had 33 cases set for criminal jury trials. Some of those cases includes Sodomy cases and robbery cases.  After the week of court COURTWATCH will outline some of the cases and what the results are.

HONORABLE CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE KEVIN MOULTON     On Monday January 14, 2019 Judge Moulton had 90 cases set on the docket for trial this week. Some of those cases included Rape, Incest and Sexual Abuse. Judge Moulton also had the case involving the Mayor of Gordon Alabama.

Should Mayor Melton be found guilty he will automatically be removed as Mayor of Gordon.

HONORABLE CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE MIKE CONAWAY     On Monday January 14, 2019 Judge Conaway had 3 Circuit Civil cases on his docket. This was the final day the Mike Conaway is serving as a Circuit Court Judge. At 12:01 AM on Tuesday January 15, 2019 the Honorable John John Steensland assumes the duties as Place 1 Circuit Court Judge of the 20th Judicial Circuit.

On Tuesday January 15, 2019 the HONORABLE CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE JOHN JOHN STEENSLAND    official begins his six year reign as Place 1 Circuit Court Judge. Judge Steensland has 4 Circuit Civil cases scheduled for a scheduling conference on these cases. A scheduling conference is to set time lines for the cases and to see where the attorneys are in the case to determine the path forward.

HONORABLE DISTRICT COURT JUDGE LORI COLLIER INGRAM    has 7 child support/domestic relations cases scheduled before her on Monday January 14, 2019. These cases include child support, petition to modify custody, and other petitions.

Judge Ingram    has 3 domestic relations and 30 child support cases scheduled before her on Tuesday, January 15, 2019.

HONORABLE CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE LARRY ANDERSON    has jury trials set in Circuit Criminal Cases. Judge Anderson has 64 cases set for jury trial on Monday January 14, 2019 and on Tuesday January 15, 2019 time is set to handle more of the 64 cases set for Monday.     

HONORABLE CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE TODD DERRICK     On Monday January 14, 2019 Judge Derrick has 75 Circuit Criminal Cases scheduled before him.

On Tuesday January 15, 2019 Judge Derrick added an additional 5 Circuit Criminal cases and 2 District Criminal cases scheduled before him.

HENRY COUNTY DISTRICT COURT JUDGE DERRICK PETERSON    holds initial appearance hearings on both Monday and Tuesday. In Henry County the defendants are brought physically before the Judge for the Initial Appearance.

On Monday January 14, 2019 Judge Peterson has a docket of 3 District Criminal Cases and 4 Small Claims cases.

On Tuesday January 15, 2019 Judge Peterson has a docket of 14 District Criminal cases, 2 Domestic Relations cases which are protection from abuse hearings, and 9 Traffic cases scheduled before him.


As Judges work through the criminal court dockets, some cases are dismissed because witnesses can not be located. Some cases the defendant enters a guilty plea. Some cases are continued for various reasons to include witness problems, evidence issues such as the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences has not completed their reports. Problems in the case which prevent them from going to trial.

The Circuit Court Judges have about 150 to 200 people who have been ordered to appear to serve as Jurors. The Circuit Court Judges work to makes sure the jurors are not idle and have cases to be heard if the defendant wants a jury trials.

With the jurors present and the Judge being persistent, it is decision time for both the prosecution and defense. Every one is in place, Mr. District Attorney it is time to put up or shut up. Mr. Defense Attorney it is time for your client to roll the dice and go to trial or accept the offer, if one has been made, and get the case over.

Also remember the definition of means  JUST US!

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