Dale Sullinger Jr. is spending his fourth consecutive night in jail, but he's not sure why he's there.
The Franklin County, Missouri man and his teenage son missed the boy's last juvenile hearing because Dale Jr. thought it was on the 31st, not the 21st. When Sullinger Jr. and his son failed to appear, Judge David Tobben signed an order for contempt, and deputies took Sullinger Jr. into custody. He's being held at the county jail without bond.
The judge is now on vacation and isn't expected to return until next week. The prosecutor was also unavailable, but neither one of them would have talked about the case. Since the hearing was in juvenile court, the records are closed to protect the rights of underage defendants.
"I can't even tell you if there is a case," the judge's clerk told me today.
As we ended our jailhouse interview with a seemingly innocent man, it appeared that the people who should be answering our questions were no where to be found. Although the judge had the legal right to issue the contempt order, and he probably doesn't have the right to talk about it, I get the feeling it was an extremely unusual move, and one that should be explained, at least to the guy sitting in jail.
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