Judge Starnes Will Not Hear Protester Cases After "Vicious Personal Attacks On Me And My 9-Year-Old Grandson"

Friday, September 4, 2020
Judge Gary Starnes
Judge Gary Starnes

General Sessions Court Judge Gary Starnes said he is recusing himself from the protester cases after "vicious personal attacks against me and my nine-year-old grandson."

Judge Starnes had been set to hear cases against Chattanooga protest leaders Marie Mott, Cameron Williams and several others on Oct. 8.

Ms. Mott at a rally on Wednesday at Miller Park asked for Judge Starnes to recuse himself from the case, saying there is an image on social media of him endorsing “Blue Lives Matter.”

She said, “The judge presiding over the case is seen tagged with his wife, he has his grandchild carrying with other children in the neighborhood a “Blue Lives Matter” flag, and then one of them has a gun on his shoulder. He says that is a matter of patriotism.

“Your job as a judge is to be impartial. And you can’t side in your private life with the police, and then show up to work and then lock up innocent black and brown bodies as if you don’t have a connection.”

Judge Starnes said, "In response to recent public statements, let me be very clear: there was no bias or conflict of interest whatsoever with regard to me hearing what I will refer to as the protester cases.

"I would have been 100 percent unbiased and impartial in every way. However, the vicious, personal attacks on myself and my nine-year-old grandson have made it impossible for me to hear at least one of those cases.

"In order to avoid any appearance of impropriety, to avoid any negative effect on the judiciary, and in the interest of my grandson's privacy and safety, I have decided to recuse myself from all of these cases effective immediately.

"The Administrative Office of the courts will appoint another judge to hear these cases."

Ms. Mott and Cameron Williams are both facing reckless burning and vandalism charges for burning the Sheriff’s Department’s flag during an earlier protest. They and a few other protesters are also facing charges for blocking the street during a May 30 protest.


Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Alexander Says Data Shows Children Need To Be In School

Grand Jury No Bills And True Bills


Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ABERCROMBIE, TYLER ROBERT 5908 GRASTON AVE EAST RIDGE, 374123608 Age at Arrest: 26 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga VIOLATION ... (click for more)

Senator Lamar Alexander said “the message is clear – children need to be in school” after Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee and the Tennessee Department of Education released new data today that ... (click for more)

Here are the No Bills and True Bills from the Hamilton County Grand Jury: No Bills: 1 DICKSON, DAVID JEREMY THEFT OF PROPERTY OVER $10,000 09/23/2020 2 DICKSON, DAVID JEREMY EVADING ... (click for more)



Breaking News

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ABERCROMBIE, TYLER ROBERT 5908 GRASTON AVE EAST RIDGE, 374123608 Age at Arrest: 26 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga VIOLATION OF PROBATION (POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED S VIOLATION OF PROBATION (EVADING ARREST) --- ANDERSON, JAMES PAUL 394 SOUTH POPE APT 1 ATHENS, 30605 Age at Arrest: 28 years old Arresting ... (click for more)

Alexander Says Data Shows Children Need To Be In School

Senator Lamar Alexander said “the message is clear – children need to be in school” after Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee and the Tennessee Department of Education released new data today that projects significant learning loss among third grade students as a result of COVID-19 school closures in March through this summer. “In Tennessee, Governor Lee and some national researchers ... (click for more)

Opinion

Earl Freudenberg Remembers Bettye Parker

One of the most patriotic individuals I have ever known has passed away. Bettye Parker died Tuesday after a short illness. At Bettye's request there will be no memorial service. Bettye ran Bettye Parker Realty on Highway 58 for as long as I can remember. She handled thousands of property transactions. Her son, Paul Parker, also became involved in real estate and is the real ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Floyd - The Whole Truth

I have been in the news business as a writer my entire life and the main cornerstone of any story is the truth. Later, as an opinion writer, I was enabled to interject exactly that, my “opinion,” which sometimes will differ from that of the readers, yet the strongest point in all arguments is fact. As a vociferous reader, I am becoming more concerned over the bias in the mainstream ... (click for more)

Sports

The Champions Club Announces Rebrand To The Ooltewah Club

The Champions Club, a private lifestyle and golf club located in Ooltewah, announces the official rebranding and renaming of the club to The Ooltewah Club. The rebrand celebrates the recent completion of a more than $1 million renovation to the facilities and coincides with the new ownership and management company’s commitment to the continued improvement of the club. Overseen ... (click for more)

CFC Wins NISA Fall Tournament Opener In Detriot

The Chattanooga FC soccer team opened the NISA Fall Tournament with a 2-0 win over the LA Force on Wednesday night in Detroit. Sean Hoffstatter scored in the 45th minute and Darwin Lom scored 63rd minute. CFC will play their second game of round robin games on Monday, September 28 against Cal United Strikers FC. The Fall NISA tournament is being played in Detroit September ... (click for more)