2-18 No Kidding

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 20, 2004

In case you don’t remember — and based on the response from attempt No. 1, you don’t — this weekly dabble in the news of Alabama takes a lighter look at some of the stories that graced the front pages of papers across the state.

The names have not been changed to protect the innocent because most of these people aren’t innocent. But remember, it’s all in good fun…

What did the doctor order?

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If you’re sick and need to see the doctor in Athens, Ala., it might be a good idea to watch the case of Dr. Ernie Hendrix, who was arrested last week on charges of making a false report to police.

Here’s the scene: Hendrix was shot in the back on Jan. 16, which is not funny in the least bit. In fact, it probably hurt.

When police questioned Hendrix about who exactly pulled the trigger, Hendrix said he did not see the person.

The story broke in the newspaper (it always does), and that messed up everything. Hendrix sent an e-mail to reporters and said he had since been informed that the shooter was a “mentally unstable” man. [You’ll hear that one again.]

The doc said he didn’t want to press charges against the unstable man because “he did not feel the man was a danger,” according to The News.

Then, Dr. Hendrix gave police another rendition: He said the shooter was a young woman.

And we’re not done yet. Next, he told police the shooter was a man who suspected Dr. Hendrix of having an affair with the man’s girlfriend.

The best part of the last three charges was Hendrix’s contention that he, indeed, saw the shooter in the grassy knoll just beyond the oak tree next to the interstate.

The last version Dr. Hendrix gave police was that he did not hear or see anything, didn’t know who shot him, and that he felt pressure to “come up with a suspect.”

Oh, and we’re not done yet. Tests show the bullet entered Dr. Hendrix from the front, not the back.

You won’t be surprised, then, to hear about the lie detector test police gave the good doctor. According to police, it showed “multiple signs of deception.”

So if you need a doctor in Athens, you better watch this case. You may end up going to get a shot of penicillin and leave without your left foot.

Put them in a bubble

An arrest last week of a woman in Bayou La Batre shows exactly why children are not supposed to play with matches.

In this case, let’s call Joanetta Johnson, 42, a child. That’s because her boyfriend, Willie James Moye, is 71 years old — which at least qualifies him for paternal status.

Ms. Johnson was arrested last week for first degree arson after her beau’s home went up in flames.

Initially, police responded to a “domestic disturbance” call at Mr. Moye’s home. Police left when Johnson did, and they shouldn’t have been surprised when they got called back — this time with the fire wagon.

Apparently, Johnson returned to Moye’s home and knocked on the front door, which was locked — ol’ Moye ain’t no idiot.

Then again, maybe he should have let his lady in the window. It would have kept her from pouring gasoline all over the front door and striking a match.

While we may think Moye isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, he took a hint from Hollywood producers, waited until his front door was completely aflame, and walked away from the blaze.

Not sure if Moye and Johnson enjoyed a bottle of bubbly together on Valentines, but if the smoke didn’t cause permanent damage, someone please tell me the lovers’ flame has died.

You won’t be surprised to learn that Moye was arrested in 2000 on a domestic violence charge after he shot Johnson in the hip with a .22-caliber rifle. (Johnson dropped the charges).

And you won’t be surprised to learn that Johnson was convicted last year of third-degree assault against her dad — I mean boyfriend.

Just read it

You read the headline and you just have to take a look: “Pot legalization advocate convicted on drug charge.”

Shocking, we know. Loretta Nall, who lives in Alexander City and founded the U.S. Marijuana Party two years ago, was arrested when police found less than a gram of grass in her house.

In one bag, police found a leafy substance that came back negative after drug tests. (That’s because her husband is a horticulturists and he was growing some plant in a bag. OK. Whatever).

But, police did find another bag with Mary Jane’s remnants and they booked the pot promoter.

Want to know how police finally made the arrest? Mrs. Nall’s daughter had a show-and-tell project at school. The project required students to bring leaves to school.

Then, the kids got out a magnifying glass, found the angle of the sun, and burned the leaf on the Play-Doh table. Then, they all asked the teacher for some Oreos.

Yeah, yeah… We’re kidding about that. Would be kind of funny though, huh?

Anyway, Mrs. Nall’s daughter apparently told the school cop that some of the leaves in her house were illegal.

What’s unfortunate is that when Nall gets finished with her community service, she’s probably going to discipline her daughter — if she can get off the couch.