“NO CONTEST” AND NO COURT FEES OR FINES CONCLUDES HUFF’S CASE IN MADISONVILLE, TN
by Sharon Rondeau
(Dec. 1, 2010) — The Post & Email has just spoken with Mr. Darren Huff, a defendant in a case brought after c0-defendant Walter Fitzpatrick carried out a citizen’s arrest of Gary Pettway, the grand jury foreman, last April. Both were charged with “riot” and “intimidation,” among other things.
Huff reported that today’s proceedings began at about 9:30 a.m., with his public defender, Matthew Rogers, offering him a plea deal of one misdemeanor for interrupting a public meeting and a $50 fine. Huff reported that he replied that he could not in good conscience “lie” to the court about something he hadn’t committed, at which point Mr. Rogers reportedly then said, “No contest, no court fees, no fine.” Mr. Huff then accepted that arrangement.
Huff stated that his case in Monroe County has now concluded and that he now will stay out of the state of Tennessee in accordance with the restrictions placed on him due to the federal firearms charges against him. He stated that the only exception to that would be if he were called to be a witness for another case.
Mr. Huff reportedly left the courtroom after the arrangement was agreed upon and approved by the judge and went across the street to a restaurant. While there, he was told by a reporter who had been in the courtroom after Huff had departed that the trial of Walter Fitzpatrick had begun, and that Fitzpatrick had pointed out to the judge that a juror who had just been seated had served as a juror last year, in violation of Tennessee Code Annotated regarding jury service. Reportedly, Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood then dismissed the juror. That then left the question of Ms. Angela Davis, who served in 2009 and again in 2010, even acting as foreman for a day when she signed the “True Bill” charging Huff and Fitzpatrick with the list of crimes.
A resident of Monroe County left the following comment at The Post & Email:
Blackwood is a drama queen, and can be gently inspired to lose his temper in a most unattractive way. He is also a coward, afraid of adverse publicity, as the LCDR has found. He has also shown a talent for “piddling in the jury pool.” Instead of remaining impartial in cases where he and a defendant are at odds, he attempts to contaminate local attitudes by feeding the local press derogatory, misleading, or outright fabricated characterizations of the defendant. I saw him in action for 2 years, and find him a small-souled martinet whose ignorance and hubris are eclipsed only by his arrogance. More than I disrespect the man, I disrespect the system that has allowed him to remain on the bench all these decades.
Does that then bring the charges themselves into question?
And what about Time magazine author Barton Gellman, who wrote in an article on September 30 that “Georgia militia member Darren Huff was arrested by Tennessee state troopers after telling them that he and other armed men intended to “take over the Monroe County courthouse,” now that Huff has not been prosecuted?