Man finds out hard way; no cell phones in court

Published 8:37 am Thursday, April 9, 2015

Cell phones make it easy to be reached anywhere, but a Mocksville man found out the hard way last week that the convenience is best enjoyed outside the courtroom.

Dustin Rae Jenkins, 27, was in court on a charge of assault on a female, knew the case would be continued, and was waiting to find out the new date.

Just before the lunch break, his phone went off.

Courtroom Bailiff Wayne Stoneman approached Jenkins and asked him for his phone. Jenkins refused to hand over the phone and used profanity when speaking to Stoneman.

Stoneman turned and stood at the end of the row where Jenkins was seated, and just as court was to be adjourned for lunch, he told Judge Mary Covington Jenkins’ phone had gone off and Jenkins was refusing to hand it over.

He had Jenkins stand before Covington, and Jenkins told Covington he was sorry his phone went off but would not hand it over and that he was only still there because he was waiting for a new court date.

Covington told him he could continue to wait until after the lunch break and had to turn his phone over.

Instead of doing that, Jenkins turned to quickly leave.

Lt. Lee Whitesides quickly moved to Jenkins, putting him up against the wall of the courtroom. The courtroom was emptied for lunch, but after the lunch break, Jenkins was brought out from the holding cell where he spent lunch. His attorney, Clint Dorman, told Covington just before the incident, he was going to ask for a continuance because he had more witnesses to interview regarding the assault charge and needed more time to speak with Jenkins.

Covington told Dorman, “Your client may be available really close by if he doesn’t apologize to me and my bailiff.”

Jenkins apologized, telling Covington he was suffering from kidney stones, was on pain medicine and wasn’t himself.

“I like to keep cool, calm and collected usually. I’m not myself,” Jenkins said.

Covington told him, “When you insult the system, that’s the problem with this country.”

Dorman was granted the continuance, and Jenkins got his phone back.