Just when the Tonya Craft case cannot get more outrageous, Judge Brian House pulls yet another stunt that is off-the-charts. Today, House has cited Ms. Craft's parents and a friend for contempt of court because they had pro-Tonya bumper stickers.
Earlier, House had declared in his gag order that no one be permitted to park in the courthouse square with a pro-Tonya sticker, and while I think that is outrageous, at least people were willing to abide by the rule. However, House sent his minions outside the square into church parking lots and elsewhere, and that is where the "offending" cars were parked. Not only did he cite the people above for contempt, but he fined the defense $300.
I hate to say this, but House does not have the legal authority to violate his own gag order, nor does he have the legal authority to go to the parking lot of the House of God and establish a dictatorship there. Nor does he have the authority and the right to declare the First Amendment null and void just because he does not want people proclaiming the obvious -- that Tonya Craft is innocent of these ridiculous and dishonest charges -- on their automobiles. It absolutely is clear that he is pulling every stunt possible to rig this trial, and there is only one cure for this kind of disease: disbarment. (I will deal with disbarment for prosecutor Chris Arnt and House in a future post.)
To make matters even worse, House put the lives of everyone in that packed courtroom in danger on Tuesday when he ordered the doors of the courtroom to be locked. That's right, House violated the law by doing so, and I am sure that the Fire Marshal of Catoosa County would not approve of such a move.
Yet, will House be cited for anything? I doubt it. If that is the kind of justice the people of Catoosa County want, then they will receive more than they ever wanted, trust me.