A former Jacksonville police officer must convince a judge next month that she had good reason not to answer subpoenas last week in three driving while impaired cases or face possible jail time.
N.C. District Court Judge Jim Moore dismissed three DWI cases Wednesday because Mary Mashburn refuses to give a date to appear, according to court documents.
Mashburn told The Daily News she gave birth to premature twins four months ago and breast feeds every two hours. She said she is the primary caregiver for her children and has been unable to go to court.
Mashburn has been served with three show cause orders to appear in Onslow County District Court on Nov. 2 to explain why she failed to appear in court after being served with subpoenas. If her answers do not satisfy the judge, Mashburn could be found in criminal contempt of court, which carries a punishment of up to 30 days in jail and a fine up to $500, according to state law.
District Attorney Dewey Hudson said his prosecutors have tried to accommodate Mashburn, but she refuses to come to court. The three DWI cases were continued several times.
Hudson said DWIs are serious crimes and to have three cases thrown out of court because a former police officer will not show up is unacceptable.
As a former police officer Mashburn has an obligation to testify in court in the arrests that she made, Hudson said.
I understand I have an obligation, but other than bringing my boys to court, I dont know what to do, Mashburn told The Daily News.
Hudson said Mashburns refusal to testify could be seen as a failure on her part to perform her duties.
The state could revoke her law enforcement certification, he said.
Mashburn was employed as an officer with the Jacksonville Police Department from Jan. 4, 2007 to April 16, 2008, and from Aug. 11 to Dec. 17, 2008, according to the City of Jacksonville Human Resources Department.
The three DWIs that were dismissed were issued Feb. 3, Feb. 29, and Sept. 5, 2008. One of the defendants has a criminal history that includes convictions in Onslow County for drug possession, larceny and gambling.
JPD Deputy Chief Paul Spring said his department has no control over former officers who do not go to court.
I would like to see them go, and I would think they would want to, but we cant force them, Spring said.
Whenever the JPD receives notice from the District Attorney that a currently-employed officer is not keeping their court dates, disciplinary action is taken, Spring said.
Hudson said Mashburns situation is indicative of a growing problem in the Fourth Prosecutorial District.
The problem is mostly with police in smaller municipalities who go to work for another department or quit law enforcement entirely, he said. Its frustrating because they seem to think they dont have to come to court anymore.
Wow. That's pathetic. I just saw on the news a few days ago that one woman had been stopped 23 times in 3 years for driving without a license. Apparently the Detroit PD decided that writing a ticket is too much work if someone doesn't have a concealed weapon and a pound of grass in their trunk.
A guy DH played soccer with in college got a dui and was NEVER charged with it. There was not court date on his ticket, he was told it would come in the mail. 4 years later, still hasn't gotten a court date. He's checked his record, the arrest isn't on it, and he's had a "friend" check to see if he has warrants. None. Not very cool!
There are three lucky bastards happily driving around Onslow County again.
I'm that azzhole who calls in the blatantly drunk drivers that weave all over the road. I don't care if somebody has one or two then goes home but you KNOW when you're drunk and shouldn't drive.