02/24/05 — Council disruption leads to court action

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Council disruption leads to court action

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on February 24, 2005 1:50 PM

Two young men who spoke obscenities after what they thought was an unfavorable decision at a Goldsboro City Council meeting were disciplined Wednesday in Wayne County District Court.

Aaron Kornegay, 27, of Beston Road, LaGrange and Nathan Chapman Lean, 20, of Smith Drive had been charged with making rude comments in a public place after a zoning vote during the Aug. 2 council meeting.

Kornegay and Lean were offered a prayer for judgment continued on condition that they complete community service work and pay the $200 community service fee and the $100 court costs. If they complete the work and pay the money, the convictions would be removed from their criminal records.

But Kornegay rejected the offer from Judge Lonnie Carraway of Snow Hill. Then the judge sentenced Kornegay to 30 days in jail, but suspended the term on condition that Kornegay complete 24 hours of community service and pay the fee, a $100 fine and court costs.

Kornegay appealed the judgment to Superior Court. His lawyer, Glenn Barfield of Goldsboro, had argued that Kornegay's constitutional rights of free speech had been violated.

Lean, who is attending East Carolina University on a music scholarship, accepted the judge's offer. He was ordered to complete 48 hours of community service and pay the fee and court costs.

Barfield and Lean's lawyer, Gregory Riley, have asked that the charges be dismissed because the charging officer did not testify and their client's free-speech rights were violated. Carraway denied the motions.

Police Officers Claude Jackson and Karl M. Rabun testified that the comments were not directed toward anyone and came in response to a governmental decision.

Carraway studied the disorderly conduct law for a few minutes before announcing his decision.

Carraway quoted what another judge had said about pornography: "I can't define it, but I know what it is when I see it. This is one of those cases. ... I can't quite put it in a box."