published Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Case that spurred complaint dismissed

The wife of a man who faced multiple bond hearings on a 2010 domestic violence case, spurring a complaint against a local judge, has dropped the charges against her husband.

Jennifer Wininger told Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern on Monday that she hadn't lied in her original testimony, but she and her husband had reconciled and she wanted to move on.

The original arrest spawned multiple bond hearings for her husband, David Wininger, and an official judicial complaint against Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge David Bales, who set the original bond at $70,000 only to have it reduced eventually to $4,000.

David Wininger was charged with two counts of domestic assault and false imprisonment at the time. Those charges were dismissed upon Jennifer's Wininger's request Monday.

She will be responsible for court costs in the case. The amount was not available.

On Monday, Jennifer Wininger said that she also hit her husband during the Aug. 23, 2010, incident that led to his arrest.

"At the time I was not on my medication," she said while on the witness stand.

"Did you hit him?" Stern asked.

"I have," Jennifer Wininger replied.

She said she now takes medication and attends counseling.

Stern reminded Jennifer Wininger that, after Stern had removed her estranged husband's original bond, Jennifer Wininger called the court "screaming" that they had released him.

Before taking the stand, Jennifer Wininger and David Wininger sat one row apart from each other, texting messages on their cell phones.

After the hearing, the couple left together with attorney Lisa Bowman and declined to comment.

During David Wininger's initial Sessions Court hearing in early November, Bales set a $70,000 bond, but his attorney, Wendy Stanfield, later appealed the decision to Stern, who released David Wininger on his own recognizance.

Bales called Stanfield before him on Nov. 17, asking why she took her client to Stern. Bales later brought Wininger back to his court, had him arrested and set an $80,000 bond.

The same day, Hamilton County Circuit Court Judge Jackie Shulten reviewed Bales' bond amount, lowering it to $4,000.

Local attorneys Hank Hill and Myrlene Marsa, with the Chattanooga Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, filed the complaint against Bales with the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary on Nov. 20.

The complaint is pending.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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XMarine said...

White trash.

February 22, 2011 at 2:47 p.m.
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