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Prosecutor cleared in contempt case

It took all of 15 seconds Friday for Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Catherine Paxson to escape the shadow of a Jan. 7 criminal contempt conviction.

Paxson had been cited for contempt by Norfolk General District Judge S. Clark Daugherty for delaying court proceedings as she tended to other cases in circuit courts. Observers said Paxson’s “double-booking” was commonplace for both prosecutors and defense attorneys.

As Paxson appealed the contempt conviction to circuit court, Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney Earle C. Mobley was appointed to the case. Mobley asked Circuit Judge Charles E. Poston to dismiss the charge with prejudice, reports The Virginian-Pilot.

Before Mobley could cite case law to support his motion, Poston dismissed the charge. Poston said Daugherty’s finding of contempt was “unusual, to say the least,” according to the paper.

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