Contempt charges dropped against Lubbock defense attorney - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/29/09

Contempt charges dropped against Lubbock defense attorney

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A Lubbock defense attorney is thrown behind bars for refusing to testify against his former client had his day in court Tuesday. A visiting judge from Austin signed an order finding Ben Webb not guilty and releasing him from his bond obligations.

The state subpoenaed Webb to testify against his former client Donald Johnson back in June. He took the stand, but refused to break his attorney client privilege. 140th District Court Judge Jim Bob Darnell found him in contempt of his court because he did not answer prosecutor's questions.

Webb was handcuffed and taken to jail where he spent about an hour. Rod Hopson, along with other local defense attorneys packed the courtroom in support of Webb.

"Anyone who has had civics class knows the attorney client privilege is sacrosanct in America everyone but Josh Reno, Judge Darnell and Mandy Say knew that," says Hopson who represented Webb.

Webb says he is proud of his decision to uphold his attorney client privilege and today's action was a win.

"I also feel some sense of vindication about what I did was right I feel good about result judge entered finding of not guilty so it feels good to know what you feel was right.

Hopson requested subpoenas for two prosecutors and Judge Jim Bob Darnell - no one appeared in court.

NewsChannel 11 left a message with Judge Darnell. Tonight at 10, we'll hear more from Webb and the District Attorney's office.

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