A man’s convictions on two contempt charges were set aside Tuesday after an unusual court session in which a sitting General Sessions Court judge testified in Carter County Criminal Court.
Aaron Keever had appealed a previous General Sessions Court conviction on two contempt charges for failure to appear. Represented by Assistant Public Defender Melanie Sellers, Keever sought to have the convictions overturned.
Sessions Court Judge John Walton took the witness stand Tuesday in Judge Robert Cupp’s court to speak about the case. Walton told Sellers he had no recollection on the specifics of the case, noting he hears thousands of cases, although he did explain how capiases are issued on failure to appear charges.
Keever’s appeal was based on whether a judge can find an individual in contempt without a court hearing on failure to appear charges. Sellers argued a defendant cannot be found in contempt if they are not seen by a judge or anyone in the court.