Musings From the Bench 8/4

musings from the bench-2I had the opportunity to sit in the public gallery of our local district courthouse a long while back and I jumped on it. As a fan of the Law & Order genre, I couldn’t wait. Then I realized I had been invited to ‘Arraignment Day’ and not a jury trial. Still, I settled in with the others and waited for the judge to appear. The wait wasn’t that long when the Bailiff said “All Rise” and the Judge took the Bench and we were told to be seated. After exchanging some pleasantries with court employees, the Judge called for the first case.

A young man was brought into the courtroom and told to sit in the empty jury box. The young man was being charged with possession of an illegal substance (marijuana–at the time illegal and now only allowed for medicinal purposes in MA) and asked how he pled. He said guilty but the Judge told him she would enter a plea of not guilty so he could have time to get himself legal representation. The arresting officer didn’t look happy about that.

The second case involved an older man who was charged with a DUI (driving under the influence-alcohol). He also pled guilty when asked and the Judge told him she was entering a plea of not guilty so he could get himself legal representation. The arresting officer didn’t look happy about that, either.

The last case involved a man who violated an order of protection by going to his estranged wife’s house. A neighbor saw him and called the police. He was promptly arrested. But what made this a bit unusual for this type of crime was his wife was standing up for him in court. Here’s what she told the Judge.

Before she filed for the temporary restraining order her husband was supposed to remove a refrigerator from the front porch but hadn’t moved it yet. So she called him to come get the refrigerator off the front porch. She didn’t realize he’d come while she was there. After a few moments of silence, at least on the Judge’s part, the Judge told the wife ‘you came in here asking for an order of protection against your husband because you feared for your life. Do you still fear for your life?’ The wife had no answer to that question but did say she was now in court to testify that her husband had stayed on the porch, did not approach her or try to enter the house. The Judge commended the man for his restraint but reminded him there was to be no contact between the two as long as that order was in effect. The man was released from custody and they both left….hopefully not together.

I relate that story because many times a temporary restraining order is nothing pat stewartmore than a piece of paper. The domestically violent spouse ignores it or just gets madder and more violent. I mean, what happened between Ray Rice and his then girlfriend and now wife Janay could be a single incident never to be repeated, but red flags have been going up ever since that hotel surveillance video came to light. Maybe therapy for both parties will prevent this from happening again. Maybe with extended family members keeping an eye on the couple they’ll catch any signs of a recurrence of this behavior. Hope so. Love isn’t supposed to hurt.


Did you hear the story about a grizzled arthritic black Lab whose owner died in 2012 and she ended up in a shelter? Lady was adopted by a family in Sedan, Kansas but when she was rough with the families puppies, they took Lady back to the shelter. Then earlier this summer Lady was adopted by a woman in Independence, Kansas. But Lady wanted to go back to Sedan and the family with the puppies so she escaped from the home in Independence and walked the 30 miles back to the home in Sedan. Unfortunately, the Sedan family didn’t want Lady back and she was returned to the shelter. The shelter contacted the woman in Independence but she didn’t want the dog back, either. This is when Cindy B. P. posted on Facebook “The senior lab walked nearly 30 miles to come home. Is there anyone out there that can give this girl a home? She may not have many years left. She’s spayed, house broken, leash trained, mellow, having troubles walking (so her travels back to Sedan amazed me)”. picked up the story, it was seen by Wrigley Gum heiress Helen ladyRich Rosburg of Odessa, FL who had her assistant fly in a private jet fly to Kansas to adopt Lady and fly her back to her sanctuary in Florida for neglected animals. According to Chet Ragsdale, Ms Rosburg’s assistant, Lady will think she’s gone to Heaven.

Ms Rosburg’s love of animals led her to intervene for a Marine who was facing losing his two dogs because he couldn’t fly them on commercial flights to his new base. She chartered a plane to take the dogs to him.

One other good thing to come out of Lady’s plight….a woman went to the shelter to adopt Lady but since she was not available, the woman adopted another dog. Live Long and Prosper, Lady.


Looking to own an Olympic Gold Medal? A 2000 Olympic Gold Medal in Basketball? Now’s your chance. Vin Baker, a member of the team that went 8-0 in Sydney, Australia has decided to auction it off. The minimum bid is $35,000 and the auction ends August 20th.

Grey Flannel Auctions descriptions:

“The 2000 Olympic gold medal offered here was presented to Vin Baker on September 30, 2000 after he and the United States Men’s basketball team went undefeated (8-0) in Sydney. The gold-plated silver medal weighs 6.85 oz, is 5mm thick and measures 68mm across. It is attached to a 39” turquoise-blue ribbon embroidered with “SYDNEY 2000” in silver. The medal features a design by Australian designer Wojciech Pietranik, it depicts Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, seated above the stadium and chariot along with “XXVII OLYMPIAD SYDNEY 2000”. This translates to “Games of the 27th Olympiad Sydney 2000”. The artists initials “WP” appear at the bottom of the design in relief. The verso of the medal features the Olympic rings along with an image of the Sydney Opera House and an Olympic torch. “BASKETBALL” and “MEN” have been engraved along the perimeter. The medal is in MINT condition and comes in a white leather case.’

It was reported a couple of years ago that despite earning $105 million in his 13 year career, the 42-year old was going through some financial troubles. All I can say is if this gold medal ends up in the possession of Justin Bieber or Kanye West, I’m going to be pissed.

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Thanks for reading Musings From the Bench. Until next time.

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About Jane Gray 58 Articles
Born in the '50s, grew up in the '60s, got married in the '70s. Gave birth in the '80s and started collecting social security in 2013. My time is my own and I don't mind sharing my opinions on everything with everybody. I hate injustice, the truth is easier to remember than a lie. I like the New England Patriots, the Boston Celtics, the New York Mets, and that English futbol team from Liverpool.


  1. These stories never cease to amaze me. Vin Baker struggled with alcohol much of his NBA career. He must have been drunker than we thought; to piss away $105 million. He deserves to be broke. He earned it. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of an abuse case where the wife wasn’t told, “it’ll never happen again,” every time he beat her up.

  2. I wish I had the money to buy that gold medal but I don’t. I’m sweating over the payment of the phone/internet bill and the electric bill. Add in food and medicine and well, it ain’t a pretty picture. At least the one thing I don’t have to worry about is domestic violence.

    Thanks for the comments, guys. Appreciate it.

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