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Weatherby Lake
court tough on trespassing

by Kenny Ragland
Special to The Landmark

The Platte County city that has a reputation for allegedly putting a 20-year-old in jail for waiting in the park to meet his girlfriend has become less strict.

A little.

Weatherby Lake's municipal court fined Bevin Scott just over $75 for sitting on their grass near a community lake shelter on Cove C.

Court was held on Thursday in the Weatherby Lake City Hall meeting room, in the community located in southeastern Platte County.

Judge Lawrence Maher presided at the bench and the city was represented by its prosecutor, Scott Sullivan.

Acting as bailiff was Weatherby Lake Police Chief Gary McMullin.

Scott argued she lived in a home west of Eastside Drive in Weatherby Lake, during the offense that occurred on Oct. 17.

“I thought I was a resident,” she said. “Our home is on 75th Street.”

Quick to respond was the judge.

“That's not in the city limits,” said Maher. “It is just like the policeman told you.”

Prosecutor Sullivan interrupted with a request to amend the charge.

“Your honor,” said Sullivan, “we would be glad to reduce the trespassing charge, from first degree down to second.”

Maher agreed, Scott pled guilty, and the judge pronounced sentence.

“I sentence you to $50 for 2nd degree trespassing, plus $27.50 in court costs,” Maher said.

During the same municipal court session, Brad Johnson, a resident of the lake, appeared on charges of high grass. As he approached the defendant's table, Prosecutor Sullivan looked where the news writer was sitting and immediately asked to approach the bench.

Following a short conference with Maher, the judge dismissed the case.

“Mr. Johnson,” Maher said, “Mr. Sullivan just explained to me that we have amended our ordinances regarding tall grass notification and those written warnings weren't precisely followed. Your case is dismissed.”

Johnson went ahead and spoke briefly to the courtroom and press.

“My wife has been hospitalized due to severe complications from surgery,” said Johnson. “That is why I haven't always been able to keep up on the mowing.”

The court nor Sullivan said how much the fine would have been had Johnson not appeared to argue his case.

But both he and Scott would have paid the full and higher amounts.

The Weatherby Lake general fund would have been the recipient of the revenue.

Additional items from the docket included two men who asked for continuances to bring attorneys to the Dec. 8 court session. Both cases were for speeding 11-15 miles-per-hour over the 25 mph posted speed limits.

An additional docket case for a resident speeding 6-10 mph over the posted speed limit of 25 mph was listed, but the resident opted to pay the ticket and avoid the hearing.

Most municipalities give motorists 10 mph over the posted speed limit before directing their police officers to issue tickets.

All but one road leading into Weatherby Lake is above 25 mph, with many being 30 and 35 mph.

The Weatherby Lake municipal court will meet again at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8 in the city hall.