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Don’t mess with a judge who keeps a baseball bat in his chambers. When Fulton County, Ga., Superior Court Judge Marvin S. Arrington Sr. was told a domestic violence defendant appearing at a bond hearing had threatened the court staff, he told his staff, “You all go back there and get my Hank Aaron baseball bat.” The defendant, 36-year-old Gary L. Carroll, and his lawyer, Dennis R. Scheib, claim the judge “brandished” the bat, resulting in a “terroristic threat.” However, affidavits from others in the courtroom suggest Arrington may have been guilty only of theatrics. A prosecutor said she never even saw the bat, and the defendant’s former lawyer said that while he saw a bat, he was not threatened. Nonetheless, Arrington granted a defense motion for recusal. In an affidavit, Carroll said Arrington “placed the bat above his shoulder and started waving the bat in my direction.” The defendant’s parents, Robert and Deborah Rose, also recalled that the judge held the bat up to his shoulder “in a threatening manner.” Lead prosecutor Laura A. Janssen had told the judge that the defendant threatened to use a baseball bat against his ex-wife if he got out of jail. “He said, ‘I’ve got one, too,’ ” Robert Rose said of Arrington. “ This man makes a mockery of his courtroom.” Arrington demonstrated during an interview how he pointed the bat’s smaller end toward the defense table and said to those in the courtroom, “This thing can kill.” But “it wasn’t directed to [the defendant],” Arrington said. – Fulton County Daily Report Fighting words Judge Carlos Bea of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote that he “respectfully” disagrees with an opinion reversing a Nevada man’s murder conviction, but a quick look at Bea’s 40-page dissent brings other adverbs to mind. “I fundamentally disagree with the majority’s presentation of the facts, their reading of the law and their conclusion,” Bea wrote in his opposition to Plumlee v. Del Papa, No. 05 C.D.O.S. 9082. Senior 9th Circuit Judge Betty Fletcher stirred Bea’s ire by writing a majority opinion that a Nevada judge should have appointed a new lawyer for Larry James Plumlee after he had a series of conflicts with public defenders. Plumlee represented himself at trial and was eventually convicted and sentenced to two life terms. By allowing Plumlee’s distrust to be an “irreconcilable conflict” requiring a change of counsel, Bea wrote, “the majority sets forth a rudderless, subjective rule for finding an ‘irreconcilable conflict’ between a criminal defendant and his counsel.” Perhaps it’s fitting that the contentious case originated in the courtroom of former Washoe County Judge Mills Lane III, best known as the boxing referee whose catchphrase-”let’s get it on”-initiated dozens of boxing matches. Most notoriously, he officiated the 1997 fight in which Mike Tyson gnawed off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear.- The Recorder He’s a fan A man got a prison term longer than prosecutors and defense attorneys had agreed to-all because of Larry Bird. The lawyers reached a plea agreement for a 30-year term for a man accused of shooting with an intent to kill and robbery. But Eric James Torpy wanted his prison term to match Bird’s basketball jersey number, 33. “He said if he was going to go down, he was going to go down in Larry Bird’s jersey,” said Oklahoma County, Okla., District Judge Ray Elliott. “We accommodated his request and he was just as happy as he could be. “I’ve never seen anything like this in 26 years in the courthouse. But I know the DA is happy about it.” - Associated Press

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