Some are claiming possible bias regarding the sentence given to a Lamar County Texas Victim Witness Coordinator in comparison to that given years earlier to a 14 year-old girl accused of committing a similar offense.
Press Release Service – Wired PR News — “How can a 14 year old go to prison for being accused of shoving a teacher’s aide, who is someone who is not a public servant, but a person who works in the County Attorney’s office be given community service for the same offense?”
That’s what Creola Cotton, the mother of a teenager who was sentenced to up to seven years in a juvenile detention facility for allegedly shoving a school hall monitor is asking after learning of the sentence given to Allan Hubbard, a Victim Witness Coordinator and spokesperson for the Lamar County Attorney’s office in her hometown of Paris, Texas, who was accused of committing a similar offense.
Hubbard was held in contempt of court after being accused of assaulting court appointed defense attorney, Jeff Starnes, and stating the attorney had “sold his soul to the devil” for his representation of a 19 year-old in a manslaughter case last week. Hubbard was brought before Judge Eric Clifford, whom he had previously accused on http://www.topix.com as being “soft on drunks,” Thursday and given 20 hours of community service for his actions after issuing an apology to the court.
The case stems from an incident during the sentencing of Justin Tatum last Thursday in Clifford’s court, in which the defendant was given 10 years probation for intoxicated manslaughter. Hubbard expressed disagreement with the sentencing, reportedly lashing out at Starnes during the court proceedings, and subsequently posting about Clifford on his personal Facebook page and other places online. Hubbard wrote in his posting on Topix, “The streets of Paris are NOT SAFE as long as Clifford is on the bench.” In addition to community service, Hubbard has also been prohibited from entering Judge Clifford’s courtroom until the beginning of next year, which some suggest will prevent him from fully being able to carry out the duties associated with his job.
As noted by Creola Cotton, Hubbard was vocal about the controversial sentencing of her daughter, which gained national media attention, stating to the Washington Post in 2007, “this girl was adjudicated delinquent by a jury…on assault of a public servant. Despite the alleged victim in the 2006 case not providing any indication that she fell in the 2005 incident at Paris High School, during her demonstration of the push in court, Hubbard further stated to the news source, “She pushed the teacher down, and anyone who does that will continue to be prosecuted to the level of the law that is allowed under the Texas Family Code. It doesn’t matter what color they are.”
Many are now questioning why there is a disparity in the treatment of both cases. The felony charge of assaulting a public servant given in Shaquanda’s case is what her mother deems most unfair, because the categorization of the teacher’s aide in the case allowed her daughter to be given a harsher punishment. Cotton asserts, “Where is the justice? We are still looking for it. A court appointed attorney is truly a public servant.”
A court appointed attorney is defined by the Texas Penal Code section 1.07 as a public servant. A teacher’s aide is not directly specified as such in the code.
Hubbard’s comments regarding the Tatum case have been removed from the Topix website as of Thursday. Information about his case has also been removed from the Lamar County Texas criminal case search website.
WiredPRNews.com – The latest in Legal News