Note: Oops Saladin is a black man and the 2 that were found not guilty were white. Oh well.
After presiding over the first three trials of “Moral Monday” protesters, the judge who heard the cases left a mixed message.
Judge Joy Hamilton, a former Wake County district judge who was appointed by the state to preside over some 920 cases, found the first protester guilty on Oct. 4 of all three charges – second-degree trespass, failure to disperse and violating N.C. Legislative Building rules. Saladin Muhammad of Rocky Mount has appealed his case to Wake County Superior Court.
On Friday, with different defense attorneys making arguments, Hamilton dismissed the same charges against Douglass Ryder, 66, and Vicki Ryder, 71, the Durham-based husband and wife among the dozens arrested on May 6.
Hamilton did not offer her grounds for dismissing the charges at the Friday hearing, leaving a legal quandary for the assistant district attorney assigned to prosecute the hundreds of cases yet to be heard and the defense attorneys whose clients have not had their day in court. (More)