Racist Mississippi Judge Indicted After Hitting, Yelling Racial Slurs at Mentally Disabled Black Man
A Mississippi judge accused of striking a mentally disabled black man and yelling racial slurs at him has been charged with simple assault on a vulnerable adult nearly nine months later, the Clarion-Ledger reports.
Madison County Justice Court Judge Bill Weisenberger turned himself in on Thursday but was released on a $10,000 bond soon after. Witnesses claim Weisenberger hit 20-year-old Eric Rivers, an African-American man, and yelled “run, nigger, run” at him at the Canton Flea Market on May 8 of last year.
If convicted on the felony charge, the judge faces up to five years in prison or up to a $1,000 fine, or both. A trial date has been set for June 8.
Bill Kirksey, Weisenberger’s lawyer, told the Ledger his client “has denied and continues to deny any wrongdoing or the commission of any crime against any person."
Kirksey and Madison County officials have expressed concern about the slowness of the process, with Kirksey complaining that the attorney general cycled through four juries before presenting the case.
Though Judge Weisenberger voluntarily stepped down from the bench, he is still being paid his annual salary of $45,700. Only the state’s Supreme Court or a felony conviction can remove a judge from the bench.
These allegations of racism against Weisenberger aren’t the first. Last year, he was accused of illegally imposing a DUI sentence against a black person in his courtroom.
Charles Plumpp told WJTV that Weisenberger illegally threw him in jail last year on a “roaming livestock” misdemeanor charge. He spent a day in jail with no bond before another judge released him. Weisenberger reversed his ruling two months later after it was determined that there was no “roaming livestock” misdemeanor law on the books.
“It's foolish; my civil rights were violated. [I spent] 24 hours behind bars, imprisoned [and] handcuffed,” Plumpp said after his conviction was reversed.