Skip to main content

Are you a legal professional? Visit our professional site

Search for legal issues
For help near (city, ZIP code or county)
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location

Miss. Judge Indicted in Racially Charged Assault on Disabled Man

Article Placeholder Image
By Mark Wilson, Esq. on February 18, 2015 9:12 AM

Well, this is a new one in the annals of Lawyers Behaving Badly, and maybe the worst in the category of Judges Behaving Awfully: A state court judge in Jackson, Mississippi, finds himself deservedly in trouble for allegedly "knocking down, slapping and kicking" a mentally disabled black man.

Oh, and did we mention he used a racial slur against this disabled black man after he knocked him down and kicked him?

A Real Winner

Judge Bill Weisenberger of the Madison County Justice Court was arrested last year for assaulting the man while Weisenberger was working as a security guard at the Canton Flea Market. (I guess being a judge in Mississippi just doesn't pay the bills? Actually, it pays $45,700 a year, reports Raw Story. Maybe he just likes flea markets.)

The mentally disabled man, Eric Rivers, apparently wanted work helping to load and unload trucks at the flea market, which prompted Weisenberger to slap him and yell a racial slur at him. Weisenberger was reportedly seen "laughing and giving a 'high five' to a police officer" after the incident, reported The Clarion-Ledger.

As if that didn't make Weisenberger a real winner, there's more. Robert Perkins, the son of a vendor at the flea market, tried to unload the family's truck, but ended up on the receiving end of some choice words from Weisenberger for parking in the wrong place. Perkins' mother told Weisenberger not to use that kind of language around children, but he told her husband, "I'm going to deal with you because I don't take orders from a woman."

So, yeah, a real testament to the dignity of the judiciary, right there.

Not His First Rodeo

Weisenberger stepped down from his judicial position last year, though he recently qualified to run for the elected job again. Last week, a year after the incident, a grand jury indicted Weisenberger for simple assault on a vulnerable adult, reports the Jackson Free Press. The crime is a felony, and if convicted, Weisenberger could face five years in prison.

Surprisingly (read: not surprisingly), Weisenberger is no stranger to allegations of racially charged misconduct. In a lawsuit filed against Weisenberger and Madison County, Charles Plumpp, an African American man, claimed that Weisenberger arrested and charged him with "roaming livestock" for allegedly allowing Plumpp's cattle to roam on someone else's property. That's a "nonexistent crime," according to Plumpp's attorney.

In a separate incident, the state attorney general investigated Weisenberger for imposing an illegal sentence on an African American defendant arrested for a DUI. The county's board of supervisors arranged a meeting with the Mississippi Judicial Performance Commission, which can't happen soon enough.

Related Resources:

Find a Lawyer

More Options