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.

 

 

 


Police Blotter: Sneaky Driver With Bedazzled License Plate Still On The Loose; Stolen Vehicle Ended Up 3 Houses Down

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Terrick Thorne Charged In Murder Of Former Girlfriend At Sixth Avenue Court


An anonymous caller from N. Orchard Knob Avenue told police someone in a dark gray or black Audi wanted him to get in the vehicle. Police observed the dark gray Audi Q7 with a temporary tag and ... (click for more)

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: BALDWIN, MACON K 13 SCRUGGS ST CHATTANOOGA, 37403 Age at Arrest: 20 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT ... (click for more)

Terrick Thorne has been charged with the murder on Tuesday of his former girlfriend East Lake Court. The victim was 20-year-old Kielonnie Stocks. Police said it was found that Thorne had bought ... (click for more)



Breaking News

Police Blotter: Sneaky Driver With Bedazzled License Plate Still On The Loose; Stolen Vehicle Ended Up 3 Houses Down

An anonymous caller from N. Orchard Knob Avenue told police someone in a dark gray or black Audi wanted him to get in the vehicle. Police observed the dark gray Audi Q7 with a temporary tag and a bedazzled plate cover. This vehicle has evaded police multiple times and they know who is suspected to be the driver. However, police were unable to identify who was driving the vehicle ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: BALDWIN, MACON K 13 SCRUGGS ST CHATTANOOGA, 37403 Age at Arrest: 20 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT THEFT OF PROPERTY EVADING ARREST POSSESSING A FIREARM WITH INTENT TO GO ARMED POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNALS VIOLATION STOP SIGN VIOLATION RECKLESS ... (click for more)

Opinion

Please Stop Calling Us “Latinx”

We’re asking nicely, because we think the use of the term has been mostly well-intentioned. But let’s start with some numbers: a mere 3 percent of Americans of Latin-American descent use “Latinx” to describe themselves. This is based on a 2020 Pew Research poll of about 3,000 American Latinos. Those who want for “Latinx” to become the default say it’s preferable because it’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Earn Life's "Free Lunches"

The worst debacle in our nation’s history, it is beginning to be proven, was when the United States was quarantined during the COVID-19 epidemic. Our economy – from employment to production – was stymied. Our next generation responded with virtually no education for an entire year and a surging teen suicide epidemic and the biggest profits that were made in the second half of 2020 ... (click for more)

Sports

UTC's Weissenbach Earns First Team All-SoCon Softball Nod

After leading the team in multiple offensive categories, Chattanooga Mocs softball graduate outfielder Hayleigh Weissenbach has been named an All-Southern Conference First Team selection, the league office announced Wednesday afternoon. In addition to Weissenbach, junior infielder Emily Coltharp was named to the All-Southern Conference Second Team while freshman infielder ... (click for more)

Mocs Add Lebanon's Porter To Women's basketball Roster

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga head coach Katie Burrows announced the addition of Lebanon's Addie Grace Porter to the 2021-22 roster. Porter helped her team to the TSSAA Final Four with a pull-up jumper against Bradley Central in the quarterfinal with three seconds remaining, capping off a stellar career with the Devilettes. In March, she led Lebanon to a 53-37 ... (click for more)