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Augusta attorney faces contempt charge

Court cites bizarre behavior during trial

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A court order was signed Thursday for the arrest of an Augusta attorney found in contempt of court this week.



Richmond County State Court Judge David D. Watkins signed an order Thursday to have Christopher Nicholson jailed.

Nicholson had until noon Thursday to comply with Watkins’ order. Instead, Nicholson filed a motion seeking a bond that is required when one is seeking to have a judgment set aside. The motion states Nicholson is 64 years old and has just had cataract surgery.

Nicholson had not been arrested as of late Thursday.

On Tuesday, Watkins found Nicholson in contempt of court and sentenced him to 20 days in jail and fined him $500. The jail time was suspended, however, if Nicholson agreed to 20 days of house arrest with electronic monitoring, and Watkins wrote in his order that he would suspend the house arrest if Nicholson wrote apologies to his client, a prosecutor and the officer who arrested his client. Watkins also gave Nicholson the option of making a $500 donation to charity instead of paying the fine.

The judge had ordered Nicholson to appear in court Tuesday to show cause for why he shouldn’t be held in contempt for walking out on a client in the middle of a trial Aug. 2.

Watkins was presiding over the Aug. 2 bench trial for Matthew Dunham, who was charged with speeding and driving under the influence on June 9, 2010. Watkins said Nicholson made inappropriate remarks when the judge didn’t rule in his favor on a motion. Then Nicholson spoke with the arresting officer, Cpl. Bonnie Kalbskopf, who was a trial witness, and afterward made some remarks to Assistant State Court Solicitor Kelly McIntyre, Watkins said.

Dunham, who was convicted, has hired an attorney to replace Nicholson. A motion for a new trial has been filed.

Nicholson filed a motion seeking Watkins to recuse himself, contending the judge was biased against him. Nicholson also alleged that unlike two other black jurists, Watkins, who is black, would talk “street” in his courtroom.

Watkins denied the motion to recuse.

Nicholson, who has practiced law since June 1974, also wrote that the comment he made to McIntyre was before court when he told her that his father loaned her father-in-law the money to buy his first home. She exploded, Nicholson wrote, when he later asked her how she could prosecute such a poor case against his client.

Comments (55) Add comment
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j-campbell
2
Points
j-campbell 08/25/11 - 04:22 pm
0
0
Chris, my boy! I imagine

Chris, my boy! I imagine there's more to this than we are hearing about.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
Points
Crime Reports and Rewards TV 08/25/11 - 09:58 pm
0
0
Chris may need to be tested

Chris may need to be tested for Diabetes. We have Known Chris for many years, he did say he had a medical condition and we think he really does.
Thank you David for your wise ruling to give Chris options so he can continue seeking medical help without billing it to the taxpayers.

scorehouse
196
Points
scorehouse 08/25/11 - 04:54 pm
0
0
me thinks da judge won't be
Unpublished

me thinks da judge won't be invitin dis here nicholson fella to the christmas party

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 08/25/11 - 04:58 pm
0
0
Oh goodness people, are you

Oh goodness people, are you really going to use the "twinky" defense? Sounds like this Nicholson guy may not have all of his marbles and maybe he should not be practicing law. I know plenty of people with diabetes who don't act crazy like this.

SCyankee
0
Points
SCyankee 08/25/11 - 04:59 pm
0
0
no matter what his excuse, he
Unpublished

no matter what his excuse, he should be disbarred for sure.

Vito45
-2
Points
Vito45 08/25/11 - 05:09 pm
0
0
Emery, people in the early

Emery, people in the early stages of diabetes CAN and DO behave erratically at times. Is it the case here? I have no idea.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 08/25/11 - 05:15 pm
0
0
sounds like a cop-out defense

sounds like a cop-out defense to me, just like the twinky defense. I don't doubt this guys has some mental issues, but I doubt it is from early stages of diabetes.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 08/25/11 - 05:17 pm
0
0
what's the excuse, he had

what's the excuse, he had "low blood sugar"? sounds like the twinky defense to me. Sounds like a bunch of bs to me. How about people just own up for being a complete jerk in the courtroom

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 08/25/11 - 05:22 pm
0
0
Vito45, you are correct about

Vito45, you are correct about the early stages of disabetes. If can and does cause erratic behavior. Emerydan, you might know plenty of people with diabetes that don't act irrational but my bet is they are on the correct medication

I know a close individual whose sugar got out of wack and he started dancing around the house singing songs and acting inappropriately. When the medics finally got there and got his sugar back in normal range, he didn't remember what he had done and was totally embarassed.

Wiorked with another individual who would fly off the handle at the slightest of thing when normally he was an easy going mild person. We always knew when to get him some kind of juice to balance him out.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 08/25/11 - 05:25 pm
0
0
Emerydan, do some research

Emerydan, do some research and then reflect on who sounds like a jerk. Whether this was Mr. Nichols issue or not, I don't know but the man has been practicing law for 37 years. I'm sure his behavior is out of the norm or he would have been disbarred a long time ago.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 08/25/11 - 05:32 pm
0
0
scoopdedoop64
2430
Points
scoopdedoop64 08/25/11 - 05:48 pm
0
0
Judge Watkins is a fine man

Judge Watkins is a fine man and a fine judge. He will do all he can to help those who need it but he is no dummy and will not be fooled by someone who is acting inappropriately for whatever reason.

scorehouse
196
Points
scorehouse 08/25/11 - 05:51 pm
0
0
there's way more to this.
Unpublished

there's way more to this. maybe the judge should recuse himself from mr. N's cases? is there bad blood there?

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 08/25/11 - 05:52 pm
0
0
a lot of people have driven a

a lot of people have driven a car for more than 60 years.. doesn't mean they should be driving a car when they no longer possess the mental and physical faculties to do so. This appears to be a pretty egregious incident.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 08/25/11 - 06:03 pm
0
0
I am quite familiar with

I am quite familiar with hypoglycemia.. and yes you can get shakes and so forth but attributing hypoglycemia to this man's antics is just BS.. sorry not buying it. Same thing as the "Twinky" defense.

scoopdedoop64
2430
Points
scoopdedoop64 08/25/11 - 06:12 pm
0
0
I have hypoglycemia and

I have hypoglycemia and Emerydan is correct. Shakey and hungry, lightheaded, may even pass out but never not know what you are doing so much so as to act out of character like that.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 08/25/11 - 06:42 pm
0
0
You are one of the lucky ones

You are one of the lucky ones scoopdedoop64. I know of two individuals who suffer from bouts of rage when their sugar is our of normal.

Here are some medical conditions that can occur, even though some of you think they can not.

Neuroglycopenic manifestations: Abnormal mentation, impaired judgment, Nonspecific dysphoria, moodiness, depression, crying, exaggerated concerns, Negativism, irritability, belligerence, combativeness, rage, Personality change, emotional lability
Fatigue, weakness, apathy, lethargy, daydreaming, sleep
Confusion, amnesia, dizziness, delirium, Staring, "glassy" look, blurred vision, double vision, Flashes of light in the field of vision
Automatic behavior, also known as automatism, Difficulty speaking, slurred speech, Ataxia, incoordination, sometimes mistaken for "drunkenness", Focal or general motor deficit, paralysis, hemiparesis, Paresthesia, headache, Stupor, coma, abnormal breathing, Generalized or focal seizures

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 08/25/11 - 06:45 pm
0
0
Why are my comments being

Why are my comments being held or not posted today?

raul
5348
Points
raul 08/25/11 - 06:51 pm
0
0
raul
5348
Points
raul 08/25/11 - 06:52 pm
0
0
dup

dup

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 08/25/11 - 07:09 pm
0
0
This was taken from a site on

This was taken from a site on Diabetes. I'd include the link but every time I do, the AC refuses to post my comments.

Emotions and blood sugars are a two way street. Understanding their relationship can help in your blood sugar control. The brain controls the secretion of various stress hormones that can interfere with insulin's effectiveness. On the other hand, when high or low levels of sugar reach the brain, the result may be impaired memory, anger, irritability, slowed thinking, or depression.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 08/25/11 - 07:29 pm
0
0
Well, I've tried to post

Well, I've tried to post several times with facts on behavior, which includes anger, concerning diabetes, and my post keeps getting held. I reword it, rephrase it, they still won't post it. Why, I don't have a clue. I give up. It's been over 40 mins. and they still have not posted it.

scoopdedoop64
2430
Points
scoopdedoop64 08/25/11 - 07:44 pm
0
0
ICL, I can't understand why

ICL, I can't understand why they would do that...doesn't make sense.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 08/25/11 - 07:48 pm
0
0
Who knows scoop......guess

Who knows scoop......guess it's just my day to win the draw.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 08/25/11 - 07:51 pm
0
0
Trial lawyers!
Unpublished

Trial lawyers!

Sweet son
10813
Points
Sweet son 08/25/11 - 07:52 pm
0
0
One lawyer taking care of

One lawyer taking care of another. But it looks like it is well advised in this situation.

corgimom
34732
Points
corgimom 08/25/11 - 07:54 pm
0
0
What on earth is "early

What on earth is "early onset" diabetes? Diabetes can occur at any age, there IS no "early onset" of diabetes. What a bizarre thing to say.

And if he just had cataract surgery then he is under a doctor's care already.

raul
5348
Points
raul 08/25/11 - 08:09 pm
0
0
I don't see anything in the

I don't see anything in the news article mentioning diabetes. How did that enter the discussion?

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 08/25/11 - 08:14 pm
0
0
Seems this article has been

Seems this article has been updated since the one earlier today. I believe it was mentioned in that article raul.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 08/25/11 - 08:58 pm
0
0
corgimom, just because you

corgimom, just because you are under a doctor's care does not mean that your sugar will never get out of balanced. My friend wears a pump 24/7 but if proper diet is not maintained, sugar levels can still get unbalanced and behavior changes can occur.

I believe scorehouse may be right, seems there may be bad blood between several parties involved.

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