Judge won't discuss hearing
After-hours court for Lawrence D.A. worker, husband rare, sheriff, other officials say
By Nancy Glasscock
firstname.lastname@example.org · 340-2443
MOULTON — District Judge Randy Mullican refused to answer questions about an after-hours hearing he held for an employee of the Lawrence County district attorney's office and her husband.
Heather June Fleming, 32, and Bart Fleming, 36, spent less than 90 minutes in jail Oct. 17, after they were arrested on third-degree domestic violence charges.
Alabama law requires those accused of domestic violence to stay 12 hours in jail before making bond, unless they appear before a judge.
Mullican wouldn't disclose procedural details of the hearing, including the time it was held or who requested it. District Attorney Jim Osborne and Circuit Clerk Harce Hill each said they didn't know any details about the hearing.
Sheriff Gene Mitchell said hearings like the one held for the Flemings are rare.
"I'm sure there have been some, but that's the first one that I'm aware of," he said. "Any of them can go before a judge, but normally, the court doesn't see them."
The Flemings were arrested at 3:40 p.m. at their home at 252 Lawrence County 238 and were taken to the courthouse for the hearing at 5:14. They were taken back to the jail at 6:10.
The jail released Bart Fleming at 7:16 and Heather Fleming at 8:32.
The Flemings were each released on $1,000 bond.
Morgan County Circuit Clerk John Pat Orr said he didn't know of any after-hours domestic violence release hearings held in Morgan County.
Limestone County Circuit Court Clerk Charles Page said he and the four judges hold after-hours domestic violence release hearings.
"I'm on call one week, and each of the judges is on call for a week," Page said.
Page or a judge goes to the county jail to hold the hearing for the accused.
"They have to have a hearing within 12 hours," Page said. "If they are intoxicated, we wait until they are sober."
Holly Hollman contributed to this report.
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