Recall James Carroll Franklin who last January, moments before he would have learned that the jury was to grant him probation in our Wise County district court after a drug conviction, bolted from the courthouse and headed to the hills. He was caught a short time later. (We don't have hills nearby.) The next day the judge granted him the probation that the jury had dictated, but required him to spend 180 days in the Wise County Jail. Well, I learned today that the defendant actually appealed the sentence (his right) and was released on an appeal bond (required). Now I don't want second guess anyone, but do you really want to appeal a probated sentence when the range of punishment was from five years to life? (Side note: If the appeal was only about the sufficiency of the evidence, the appeal would make sense: The appellate court could only affirm the conviction or acquit the defendant. It could not require a new trial.) Anyway, it looks like the defendant didn't pay his lawyer (who was also his bondsman) and a warrant was issued once the lawyer "went off the bond." The appellate court also ordered a hearing in the district court to determine if the defendant actually wished to pursue his appeal. It was scheduled for this morning but I've got a feeling the defendant won't make it.
at 9:46 AM