Lawnmower falls on defendant, delays hearing

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt August 7, 2014
A picture of Hosea Williams, left, and Franklin Morris, right, that hangs in the Morris' Restaurant and Lounge in Kirkwood.

A picture of Hosea Williams, left, and Franklin Morris, right, that hangs in the Morris’ Restaurant and Lounge in Kirkwood.

A court hearing about a neighborhood dispute involving a Kirkwood club was rescheduled Thursday after the defendant didn’t appear because a lawnmower fell on him.

Municipal Judge Herman Sloan sounded a little skeptical about why Franklin Morris wasn’t in his courtroom. Morris’ wife, Felicia, appeared instead and said her husband was at Grady Hospital.

“Early this morning a lawnmower fell on him,” the judge asked.

“It fell on him day before yesterday,” Felicia Morris said. “Since he does not have insurance, we had to do it with Motrin. It fell on his full body. The foot is really swollen. He can’t wear any shoes. He went in to see about that and make sure nothing was broken in his back.”

Morris was due back in court as a follow-up to a May 8 hearing. At that hearing, Judge Sloan ordered him to meet with neighbors living around his club, the Morris Restaurant and Lounge, and come up with a written agreement. As of Aug. 7, no such agreement exists.

Morris was issued a citation for loud music in April, and has been feuding with his neighbors for months about activities at the lounge. Morris Restaurant is a historically black-owned business that has been in business on Oakview Road since the 1960′s. The sons have been running the business since their father, Franklin Sr., passed. The family says their newer neighbors are trying to run them out of the neighborhood. The neighbors say they just want the club to rein in some of the rowdy behavior surrounding it.

Several of his neighbors were in the courtroom waiting to make statements about Morris’ business. Morris recently received a second citation for loud noise, and has to appear at Municipal Court on Aug. 11 for that incident. His wife asked the judge for a new court date for the previous citation and he agreed, rescheduling the hearing to Aug. 14.

“You tell Mr. Morris when he comes back to court, he needs to bring something that show’s at 9:05 am he was at Grady,” Judge Sloan said. “I need to know when he was admitted and when he was discharged.”

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