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Corpun file 25586 at www.corpun.com
Morning Star, Wilmington, North Carolina, 5 January 1980, p.6A
Teen spanked in court
GOLDSBORO -- A District Court judge gave two teen-agers the option of jail or a paddling, and the youths chose to take their licks.
One of the youths, 16-year-old Ricky Artis of Pikeville, received his spanking from his grandmother, who borrowed a lawyer's belt and applied the sanction in court Thursday.
"The boy bent over and the grandmother whipped him. She burned him up, too. She did," said Karen Bennett, deputy clerk in Wayne County District Court.
The other youth, 17-year-old Buddy Lane Lytton of Dudley, was sent home with a promise from his parents that he would receive his spanking at home.
The old-fashioned punishment was ordered by District Judge Ben Allen of Henderson, who was holding court in Goldsboro for the first time.
Allen offered the paddling as an alternative to jail to both youths, and both responded that they would take the whipping, Ms. Bennett said.
Lytton had pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor larceny charge, and Artis pleaded guilty to resisting arrest, she said.
Both waived their rights to attorneys and entered pleas, she said.
Artis' grandmother spanked him about a dozen times, courtroom witnesses said.
"The judge finally told her that was enough," Ms. Bennett said. "It looked pretty effective to me." Allen could not be reached for comment.
Assistant district attorney Claude Ferguson, who prosecuted the case, said it was the first time he'd ever seen a spanking sentence applied by a judge or administered in court.
"I'm more or less concerned with getting the conviction. I always leave the punishment to the Judge," Ferguson said, "It was unusual."
Ferguson said those in the courtroom appeared a bit surprised at the judge's offer of an alternative to jail, and that Allen had to repeat his request for a belt before one of the lawyers stepped forward to offer his.
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