Folks, I tweeted the APS sentencing proceedings and am about to start writing a summation.
In the meantime, here are the morning events in digest form. These tweets include some of the strongest quotes from the judge, who fired off strong reprimands and sentences.
Expect APS cheating story to continue as eight defendants likely to appeal. Only 2 took DA deal.
Judge on APS community service: Wants them working with prisoners or children. ‘These are capable people who can teach.’
Judge advises defendants to right of appeal within 30 days. Needs to know lawyers staying on with clients.
Pam Cleveland takes deal: Gets year home confinement, 1000 hours of community service & fine. First offender status.
Pam Cleveland takes deal: Reads statement of apology for involvement in 2009 CRCT test administration. I am guilty of crimes charged
Baxter sentences Copeland: 5 years to serve 1; 1,000 hours community service, $1,000 fine. First offender.
Attorney for Theresia Copeland: Spending money to be here. Not going to represent his client in appeal. She’s indigent.
Judge: Many people out there involved in cheating. But likely not enough evidence on them. “Sickest’ thing to ever happen to city
Judge now says give first offender to all but 3 administrators. Pitts attorney points out that his boss, Kathy Augustine, not indicted.
Baxter on Buckner-Webb: Five years to serve 1. 1,000 hours community service, $1,000 fine, First offender treatment.
Judge Baxter: I would not take an Alford Plea for Beverly Hall even though people wanted me to and she was sick.
Anybody watching APS sentencing have any sense of victory? Whole thing is sad for everyone.
Attorneys telling judge: DA’s office wanted to give us words we have to say to you. Put words in our mouths.
Judge to Buckner’s attorney: I want the children who were shortchanged and cheated to have an apology. I don’t want an apology
Judge Baxter argues with Tabeeka Jordan’s attorney on whether he promised first offender status in court Monday.
Judge Baxter tells Jordan’s attorney: None of the educators willing to take responsibility.
APS defendants must believe they have strong appeals ground to pass on DA deal & risk these jail sentences.
Baxter sentences Angela Williamson: Five years to serve 2. 1,500 hours of community service & $5,000 fine.
Angela Williamson’s attorney asks for first offender status. ‘Temper justice with mercy.’
Williamson wants to be able to raise her kids. Judge asks, ‘Why didn’t she think about that 18 months ago?”
Teacher Angela Williamson: Attorney notes trial witnesses said she was top teacher & her students are succeeding.
Judge: Believe Dana Evans knew what was going on in 4th grade. 5 years to serve 1; 1,000 hours community service & first offender.
Attorney: Dr. Evans came to school where cheating had been occurring. Only there for short time yet being held responsible
Attorney Rubin speaking on behalf of Dana Evans: Kids at Dobbs did get tutoring, help. CRCT scores didn’t matter. Help provided.
Judge Baxter not swayed on Pitts: Sentences him 20 years to serve 7. $25,000 fine. 2,000 hours community service.
Incredulous Baxter to PItts: You had no idea there was blatant cheating at that school?
Judge to Pitts: How could you believe Parks Middle made such leaps? Pitts: I turned around a failing high school. Can be done.
Michael Pitts to judge: Came to APS when Carver graduating only 23 students. Improvements were made.
Judge’s sarcastic response to lawyer comment that APS is better school system now. ‘Everything is great, thank god, Dr. Hall came’
Judge: Everybody starts crying about these educators. There were thousands of children harmed in this thing, This is not a victimless crime
Attorney for Pitts; His client supervised many other schools & teachers. Convicted on what he should have known, not what he did.
Baxter tells Pitts’ attorney: Your client was at epicenter of cheating at Parks Middle. He was in charge of that school.
Attorney for Michael Pitts: 20 years to serve 7 is unfair & unjust sentence.
People who wanted APS cheating trial defendants to serve serious time are getting wish. Angry judge is sending folks to jail for 7 years.
Defendants paying high price for refusing DA’s offer: Judge sentences 2 so far to serve 7 years in jail & pay $25,000 fine
Judge sentences Tamara Cotman to 20 years to serve 7; 2,000 hours of community service & $25,000 fine.
Baxter said Cotman fired educator who questioned high scores by students who couldn’t read.
Cotman’s attorney: No one saw Cotman cheating or directing cheating.
Baxter to Cotman’s attorney speaking for his client: ‘I know more of Cotman than I ever want to know.’
Tenor of APS sentencing going bad fast. Baxter’s angry defendants not taking deals & still challenging verdict.
Furious Baxter lecturing Cotman’s attorney. Says Cotman at ‘top of the food chain’. She ran off good educators.
Wow. An angry Baxter sentences Sharon Davis Williams to 20 years to serve 7 years and $25,000 fine.
Judge and attorneys arguing. Baxter warns 1 lawyer to sit down or risk jail.
Attorney for Sharon Williams: Only convicted of 1 charge. No record. Asking for 5 years probation & first offender. Allow appeal.
Miffed judge tells attorney Davis trying to make legal argument on charges to stop talking. ‘I’ve listened to you for 3 years.’
APS defendants apparently maintaining they unjustly convicted. Only 1 took deal sparing him jail & giving him first offender status
Most APS defendants unwilling to take deal & admit guilt. Long road to appeals court will begin. Jail time runs 1 to 3 years
For APS defendants not taking deals: Jail time: 3 years for Pitt, Cotman; 2 years for most others including Evans & Jordan.
Judge Baxter to Bullock: ‘Thank you for accepting responsibility and relieving me of a harsh sentence for you. Good luck.’
Bullock: 5 year probation, 6 month weekend jail, $5,000 fine,1500 hours of community service teaching inmates. First offender status
Bullock apologizes for my involvement in what happened in CRCT ‘administration.’ I accept responsibility. He reads the charges.
Bullock’s attorney starts giving reasons why client taking deal. Judge interrupts: He has to fess up. If not, don’t waste time.