Arkansas Lawyer Wants $25K Contempt Fine Tossed

Jun 25, 2013

A lawyer for a former Little Rock police officer charged with manslaughter is asking a judge to vacate a $25,000 contempt of court fine he was assessed at the end of a mistrial this past weekend.

Attorney Bill James said in court papers Monday that the contempt citation was improperly imposed by Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen.

James argues that he wasn't given a hearing before being cited, which he says is unconstitutional.

He also argues that state law bars the court from making the citation on a Sunday.

Court was in session Sunday for the second day of jury deliberations in Josh Hastings' trial.

Jurors could not reach a verdict.

Hastings is accused of fatally shooting a 15-year-old burglary suspect. A retrial is set for September.