Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen has now put in writing his contempt finding of defense attorney Bill James over hsi actions during the manslaughter trial of former Little Rock patrol officer Josh Hastings. Feb. 5, the Arkansas Supreme Court dismissed James’ appeal of the finding and a $25,000 fine because there wasn’t a written order for the court to consider.
That decision meant that either the fine wouldn’t be enforced or that a written order would be required before James could appeal the finding. There’s now a written order.
The judge held James in contempt for repeatedly referring to the criminal history of two teens in the car with another teen killed by Hastings while investigating a car burglary. The case has twice ended in a hung jury and is scheduled for retrial in May.
The judge’s order disputes all the points James raised in the appeal the Supreme Court didn’t consider. He said James had violated his order “persistently, deliberately and inexcusably.”