CNN Wants To Broadcast Juvenile Hearing On Ooltewah Coaches, AD Live, But Judge Philyaw Turns Network Down For Fear Of "Circus"

Friday, January 15, 2016 - by Claire Henley Miller
Judge Rob Philyaw
Judge Rob Philyaw
- photo by Claire Henley Miller

Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw told members of the Brainerd Kiwanis Club on Friday that he was contacted by CNN to run Thursday’s hearing on the Ooltewah High rape case on national television.

Judge Philyaw said he declined CNN’s request. He said he believes it will be a short hearing, and he does not want it to turn into a “circus.”

The judge did not come to the club meeting to talk about the Ooltewah High rape case. But, in order to be transparent to the public in light of the ongoing scandal, the judge touched on the hearing he will preside over next Thursday morning.

Three Ooltewah High staff members will come before him on charges of failure to report child sexual abuse of four teammates on the OHS boys’ basketball team. They include Athletic Director and former boys' basketball coach Jess Nayadley, Coach Andre Montgomery and Assistant Coach Karl Williams.

Being that Judge Philyaw works in Juvenile Court, he noted that it is exceptional for him to try adults.

“The thing that hit the paper yesterday is a strange creature,” he said.

During the hearing, if the adults plead not guilty, then Judge Philyaw will bind the case over to the Grand Jury. But if they plead guilty, he can fine them up to $2,500, he said.

Judge Philyaw said Juvenile Court has an approximate budget of $7,000,000, making it a “big part of the county government.” For this reason, he wanted to give community leaders and children advocates of the Kiwanis Club an overview of the system.

He started by saying the majority of the public does not understand everything Juvenile Court does, as there are laws and statutes bound to cases of the youth making them confidential.

Breaking it down in a “nutshell,” Judge Philyaw discussed how his profession handles two big categories: juvenile delinquency matters and adverse childhoods situations.

Part of the reason for having Juvenile Court is to deal with children who make mistakes that would be considered criminal if committed by adults. The court offers rehabilitation to these children to help prevent them from committing criminal acts in the future.

Juvenile Court even uses different verbiage to remove the “taint of criminality” from children. For example, Judge Philyaw will say “delinquent act” instead of “criminal act,” and “adjudicate” instead of “convict” when speaking to a child.

Whereas the Chancery or Circuit Court settle matters of child support, custody, and visitation rights of children whose parents are getting divorced, for children born out of wedlock, the state Juvenile Court settles these cases.  

Juvenile Court also has jurisdiction for all dependency neglect issues. When children are abused or neglected, they are brought to Juvenile Court. In the event a child must be removed from his or her family, Judge Philyaw said his organization strives for reunification of the family, even after that child is placed in foster care.

If the family cannot be reunited, someone will eventually file for the state to terminate the parents’ rights over the child. Judge Philyaw presides over this serious filing. If he approves the termination of the parents’ rights to their child, that child can go on to be adopted. 

If a juvenile stacks up multiple offenses, it will likely be asked of the judge to remove that individual’s status as a minor. When this happens, the individual is then prosecuted as an adult.

"That’s a serious, serious matter,” Judge Philyaw said. 

The good news is the judge has seen county delinquency filings follow the national trend and go down. He believes this is because there are more School Resource Officers, or SROs, in schools than ever before. The SROs are reportedly trying to handle more things “in house.” They help prevent and solve a lot of crimes, and they do a good job, Judge Philyaw said.

He spoke on the addition of Youth Court—an extracurricular activity involving 40 selected students at a time who get to do things like shadow Juvenile Court attorneys as they prepare their cases.   

Something completely different, Drug Court strives to help teens recover from drug addictions.

“We have teenagers in Hamilton County who are addicted to serious drugs,” Judge Philyaw said. “Heroine has become a real issue in the last year or so.”  

Drug Court has fully functioned for nearly two years and has had about four to eight people in it at a time. So far two students have graduated from the program. Judge Philyaw said the system is “batting 50/50.”

Another program recently started at Juvenile Court involves the Chattanooga Police Department. It aims to wrap its services around the most serious juvenile offenders in efforts of keeping them out of prison.

The Kiwanis Club member who introduced Judge Philyaw said he exemplifies what a Juvenile Court judge ought to be. The member went on to say this is because of the judge’s dedication and compassion towards children.

 

 

 


Allisons Were Among Cameron Hill's Earliest Residents; Stayed Through The Civil War

Police Blotter: Couple Arguing Over Car Key Begin Pulling Each Other's Hair; "Pastor Mike" Causing Trouble Again While Wielding Large Stick

Latest Bradley County Arrest Report


In Chattanooga's early days, Cameron Hill resident James Reeves Allison was the city's chief silversmith and watchmaker. During the trying days of the Civil War, the Allisons were one of the ... (click for more)

A disorder was reported at a residence on E. Brainerd Road. Police spoke with a couple who said that they were arguing with each other over a car key, and they started pulling each other's hair. ... (click for more)

Click here for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)



Breaking News

Allisons Were Among Cameron Hill's Earliest Residents; Stayed Through The Civil War

In Chattanooga's early days, Cameron Hill resident James Reeves Allison was the city's chief silversmith and watchmaker. During the trying days of the Civil War, the Allisons were one of the few families to remain in town. The Allisons were early settlers in Upper East Tennessee. James Reeves Allison was born in Greene County about 1816. He made his way to Murray County, Ga., ... (click for more)

Police Blotter: Couple Arguing Over Car Key Begin Pulling Each Other's Hair; "Pastor Mike" Causing Trouble Again While Wielding Large Stick

A disorder was reported at a residence on E. Brainerd Road. Police spoke with a couple who said that they were arguing with each other over a car key, and they started pulling each other's hair. Police did not observe any sign of physical injuries on either of them. The man packed his belongings and moved out. * * * A man told police he last saw his vehicle where he parked ... (click for more)

Opinion

Rest In Peace, Larry Wallace

Athens and Tennessee lost a great friend and a long-time public servant when Larry Wallace passed away Saturday afternoon. The 1962 McMinn County High School graduate started his lifetime law enforcement career with the Athens Police Department in 1964. He joined the Tennessee Highway Patrol in 1967 and was appointed as a special agent with the Tennessee Bureau of ... (click for more)

Election Day Observations - And Response

Congratulations to all the winners in Thursday's election. And also thanks to all who ran, it takes a lot of courage to enter the arena of politics. I didn't vote for Weston in the primary but I certainly did in the general election. I think he will do a wonderful job. Sabrena, I voted for you but I would imagine your career is over after one of the dumbest political stunts I ... (click for more)

Sports

Garner Emphasizing Veteran Leadership One Week Into Preseason Camp

One week into preseason practice and one day out from its first scrimmage of fall camp, the Tennessee football team took Haslam Field Monday morning as anticipation continues to build for the 2022 season opener on Sept. 1. Entering his second year on Josh Heupel 's staff and fourth overall at Tennessee, defensive line coach Rodney Garner met with members of the media to discuss ... (click for more)

Top Two Teams In NISA Face Off Wednesday At Finley

Chattanooga FC gets a short break and then prepares for what is arguably the biggest regular season game in its history as a professional club. The team returns to Finley Stadium for a clash with the Cal United Strikers from Irvine, California in what will pit the #1 Eastern Conference team against the #1 Western Conference team. The match is scheduled for an earlier kickoff at ... (click for more)