Roanoke County Circuit Judge Pat Doherty had them laughing at a recent VTLA 50th anniversary fete in the Star City. In one story, Doherty recounted how – despite pleas for leniency from the defendant and her family – he gave some serious prison time to a woman with a record of 15 convictions for shoplifting.
A few days later, in the mail, he received a envelope from the defendant. He noted the address on the outside was in proper form. Opening the letter, the judge found a formal heading and salutation directed to him, followed by the words "You redneck son of a bitch."
Marveling at this pointed message, Doherty called to Virginia Supreme Court Justice Lawrence Koontz, who shares office space at the county courthouse. "Take a look at this," Doherty said.
Koontz scanned the letter and handed it back to Doherty. "Gee, Pat," he said. "You’re not a redneck."
By Peter Vieth