Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Judge Not in Error

Judge not in error

By Mike Linn
Montgomery Advertiser

A Montgomery judge wasn’t required to notify state prosecutors about a hearing to reverse the jail sentence of a Wetumpka radio show host, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.

Circuit Judge Truman Hobbs Jr. last week allowed Roberta Franklin, host of the “Morning Show with Roberta Franklin,” to serve her year sentence at home rather than behind bars, according to her attorney, Frank Riggs.

Franklin was sentenced in February to one year in jail for lying on her application for welfare benefits. Hobbs reversed the sentence last week, but he never told the Attorney General’s Office about the hearing, which is rare but permissible.

Chris Bence, a spokesman for Attorney General Troy King, said the Attorney General’s Office did its job by prosecuting Franklin.

“What the judge does after that is his prerogative,” he said.

Franklin was free on an appeal bond when Hobbs changed her sentence.

Riggs said he sent Hobbs two letters seeking lenience for Franklin because of the recent death of her 32-year-old son. One was from himself, the other was from another community member.

"I think the judge just has a good heart," Riggs said.

Riggs said it was an administrative oversight that Hobbs failed to notify the government of the hearing.

Prosecutors asked Hobbs initially to sentence Franklin to three years in prison for stealing $1,648 in food stamps between July 2003 and August 2004.

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