Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on August 10, 1975 · Page 16
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August 10, 1975

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 16

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Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 10, 1975
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Page 16
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2B -- August 10,1975 Sunday Guetto-Mail CMrfettw. ftesr *PHCES m turn or umi AcuKittftt A itu nun Trial! Judge Known For No-Nonsense Approach By Cathy Steele Roche RALEIGH. N.C. (API-Judge Hamilton H. Hobgood is widely known in North Carolina legal circles as a no-nonsense judge. His performance in the first four weeks of the Joan Little murder trial has borne out the reputation. Hobgood, 64, with silver hair and glowing pink cheeks and jowls, is a 20-year veteran of the state Superior Court bench and one of its senior judges. He runs his courtroom, crowded with reporters and spectators, with a firm hand. Rapping loudly for silence, Hobgood has demanded several times, "Who's that laughing? I'd like to give somebody 30 days if I knew." * * * ALTHOUGH TOUGH with the lawyers, Hobgood has a quiet, folksy manner that he uses with witnesses and jurors. He talks about his days on a Franklin County farm, north of Raleigh, and is intent on' making those on the stand feel at ease. Hobgood received a bachelor's degree in education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1932, then was in the lumber business for four years in Louisburg. North Carolina does not require its judges to be lawyers, and Hobgood was on the Franklin County bench while attending the Wake Forest College of Law at night. He received his law degree in 1941, then spent four years in the Marine Corps, until 1946. Hobgood served two terms in the North Carolina Senate, in 1951 and 1953, before becoming a Superior Court judge in 1955. Attorneys for Miss Little, a 21-year-old black accused of killing a white jailer, claim Hobgood's actions deprive the defendant of her civil rights. Prosecutors are no happier. Hobgood has not allowed admission of some key pieces of the state's evidence, and last week he reduced the charge against Miss \ Justice Hamilton Hobgood No-Nonsense Little from first-degree murder to second- degree murder, saying the state had failed to make a case of premeditated murder. Hobgood allowed the defense wide latitude in jury selection, which took two weeks. He has on several occasions helped defense attorneys around prosecution objections to their line of questioning. * * * HOBGOOD has sought to expedite the proceedings. He often hushes objections if a witness has already answered a question. He has taken copious notes throughout the testimony. He spends evenings and weekends studying cases cited in defense and prosecution briefs and seems well pre- pared to back up Ms rulings. Hobgood has not ruled out the possibility that he will dismiss all charges against Miss Little before the case goes to the jury. He said last week after the state rested its case that he was denying the motion to dismiss second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter charges "at this stage in the trial." If Hobgood is not convinced the state has made a case, he won't shy away from throwing out the charge, lawyers familiar with his court insist. One attorney summed it up: "He's hardheaded enough to do it." Hobgood seems determined that the trial tagged by some "the civil rights trial of the 1970's" will not become a circus. He has no tolerance for legal showmanship, and jailed activist lawyer William Kunstler for two hours last week after a courtroom exchange that lasted four minutes. * * * IT WAS with the same firmness that Hobgood ordered Southern Poverty Law Center attorney Morris Dees off the Little case after a witness accused him of asking her to tell a lie. Kunstler appeared in court seeking admission to the case to replace Dees, but was removed after he commented, "I am glad to see the quality of justice has not improved in North Carolina." Hobgood will not allow attorneys to defy his authority. After chief defense counsel Jerry Paul argued with a ruling early in the trial the judge came back with a "finding of facts" about the incident. There was a strong implication that he may cite Paul for contempt at the close of the trial. The judge served notice at that time that North Carolina attorneys in'the case would be subject to contempt citations and that out-of-state attorneys, such as Dees from Alabama, could be removed at his discretion. JCPenney 20% off all girls' pantsuits $ 13 and up! Big 20% savings on girls' oxford shoes. Sale $ iovi2 Reg. $13 to $15 Sizes 7 to 14. save on all kinds of styles. A cardigan with matching T-shirt and pant. Lace smock-top with two pair of pants: a matching gingham and matching solid. Or the pajama look in patch print and polka dots. All polyester. And these are just a few! Come see. And save. Sale 7.19 Reg. 8.99. Cap toe oxford with grain vinyl uppers, heavy contrasting stitch, honey crepe sole. Comes in tan only, sizes C, D 8'/j-4. Sale 5.59 Reg. 6.99. Two tone wedge oxford with vinyl uppers gets contrast stitch treatment, Kraton* sole. Tan and blue combination in sizes C ELECTIVE THROUCH TUESDAY AUG. 12,1975 FIRST-OF-WEEK DOORBUSTERS! Sale 9.59 Reg. 11.99. The popular moc toe oxford with real leather upper, honey crepe sole and heel. Sizes C, D 8'/2-4 in tan and green, B12'/2-4, 8'/ 2 -4 in tan only. West Virginia Brand SAUSAGE 1 "" 29 SS- '257 | fViSe flB 1 i U.S.D.A. Inspected BEEF LIVER ·SLICED ^69' FAIRMONT'S LOW-FAT 2% MILK ··1 · .^ m m · ^h. * · GALLON ·Quanity Rights Reserved! BIG STAR ii. VAN CAMP BREAD [JPORK BEANS · ' v - H . 3 20-oz. $ f LOAVES I | 21-oz. $ CANS 1 I AIM TOOTHPASTE CLOSE-UP (BONUS PAK) TOOTHPASTE FRESH JUICY PEACHES $1.41 .......«. DELI-DEPT. STAR VALUES HARD ROLLS 69 DONUTS DOZ. $109 1 Store Phone 343-346 1 Sole prices effective thru Wed . Catalog phone 343-446 1 NOW YOU HAVE A CHOICE! ALL KAHAWHA VALLEY STORES... OPEN 8 ..MIDNIGHT MONDAY THRU SATURDAY... OPEN SUNDAYS 10A.M.'TIL 9P.M. * KANAWHA CITY * 1408 BIGLEY AVE. * NITRO * CROSS LANES* SISSONYILLE * VIRGINIA STREET SPENCER · WHITESVILLE · CEDAR CROVf HOURS REMAITHE SAME

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