Jail For Bail …

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 11, 2001

Shirley, Thomas found guilty


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A Troy financial planner and the Brundidge city administrator were both found guilty of operating a business without a license by Judge Hang ’em High Jeffrey at a Pink Flamingo Court Wednesday.

Jimbo Shirley and Britt Thomas were fined $1,000 and were placed in the Edge Regional Medical Center jail until the money could be raised.

Shirley, a financial planner, insisted that he was not the owner of a weight loss business and, therefore was innocent of any charges against him.

However, Prosecutor Barbara Synco, who recently received a law degree from the Sally Struthers School of Law, pointed out that many of Shirley’s clients have recently "lost their butts" based on Shirley’s financial advice.

"If that’s not a weight loss business, I don’t know what is," Synco told Shirley who did not disagree.

Synco was much more aggressive in prosecuting the Brundidge city administrator, perhaps because she had incriminating photographs.

Thomas was accused of operating a "hair dressing" business and Synco placed into evidence two photographs of Thomas "dressing" the hair of young women and one photo of Thomas in curlers himself.

Thomas admitted to "dressing hair," but took the "fifth" when asked if he sometimes isn’t "Brittany" Thomas.

He was fined $1,000 for operating a business without a license, but the fine was upped to $5,000 when Thomas asked for the "fifth."

Another government official, Mayor Larry Henderson of Banks avoided jail time by paying a $1,000 fine. Henderson was accused of impersonating a person in power, to which he plead "no contest."

Following the tradition of generations of area moonshiners who slapped their back pockets and pulled out fine money, Henderson slapped his back pocket and pulled out $1,000 in cold, hard cash. Hang ’em took the money without question and released the Banks mayor immediately.

A Troy State University academic advisor for the athletic program, who claimed to be the son of Head Football Coach Larry Blakeney, was found to be in the United States illegally.

Sohail Agboatwala, a.k.a. Larry Blakeney Jr., admitted he does not have a green card and is, therefore, in this country illegally.

"Will you still be illegal in three weeks," the judge asked Larry Sohail Agboatwala Blakeney, Jr.

"Yes, if I’m still here in three weeks," LSAB, Jr.


The judge was lenient Sohail, who revealed he is "seeking for a wife."

If married Sohail could become legal in a matrimonial minute. He said he can support four wives.

"Four wives?

Then you


be ill-legal," the judge told Sohail.

A Troy firefighter, Buddy Fowee, was accused of being a fire starter a.k.a. the "Kingsford Kid."

"Do you not sometimes start fires to create business for yourself?" the judge asked the little fire fighting Buddy.

"It’s called ‘job security,’" Fowee quipped.

"I take that as an admission of guilt," Judge Hang ’em High said.

At that point, Fowee threw himself on the mercy of the court.

The judge threw out a grand theft auto charge and a charge of theft of a grand auto and fined Fowee $1,000.

The only female on the docket of the Pink Flamingo Court was a Yankee who was accused of trying to impersonate a Southerner and

Dolly Parton and

an interior decorator.

However, Ann Gates was more concerned about being able to "fit on the throne"

(the portable potty witness chair) than the serious charges against her.

Gates, whose Southern accent is obviously fake, the judge said, admitted her Dolly impersonation is, in some places, fake also, but she held fast to being a decorator.

"You call yourself a Southern decorator? Well, have you every painted tires white and used them as flower containers in a yard? Have you every used Milk of Magnesia bottles as decorating items." Synco asked.

"No, but when I’m called to a house …" Gates begin to answer.

"Called ? Called

to a house? Then, you are a ‘call’ girl?"

the prosecutor badgered Gates without giving her a chance to respond. "I have no more questions, your honor."

The judge then asked Gates to face him and he reprimanded her.

"You’re not a Southerner by birth. You’re not Southern bred and you won’t

be a

Southerner when you are dead," he said. "I find you guilty of impersonating a Southerner and fine you $1,000 and require you to decorate your lawn with white painted tires, two dozen milk of magnesia bottles and three pink flamingos

– for now and forever."

All of those found guilty and fined were placed behind bars until their fines could be raised. However, more people were willing to donate to keep them in jail than get them out.

By press time, however, the six "good, but guilty, sports" had raised more than $6,000 for the Pike County Relay for Life campaign.

Jennifer Ventress, spokesperson for the ERMC Relay team, expressed appreciation to the six "defendants" for their willingness to "expose"

themselves for such a worthwhile cause and to their employers who allowed them to participate.

"This is the fifth year the ERMC Relay Team has had the "Jail for Bail" fundraiser and, with the help of wonderful people like these six participants today, we have raised more than $25,000 for the American Cancer Society with this one event. We thank them, their employers and all of those who help them get out of jail by contributing to their fines."