Tennessee man arrested for smoking marijuana in courtroom

Posted at 10:47 AM, Jan 29, 2020

LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) — A man who appeared in court on a marijuana citation was charged with contempt of court after lighting up in front of the judge.

Spencer Boston pulled out a marijuana joint and lit up in a packed courtroom Monday, and it was caught on video at General Sessions Court.

Boston, 20, was standing at the podium before Judge Haywood Barry. The two discussed the case briefly, then the judge looked down.

Boston then reached into his coat pocket, pulled out a joint, struck a match and lit up. He puffed on the joint, then turned to the packed audience and said, “The people deserve better.”

Court officers say many laughed out loud.

The video showed the court bailiffs immediately taking Boston into custody. He received 10 days in jail.

“I’ve been in law enforcement for 20 years and this is by far the most bizarre thing I have seen in a courtroom. He is a lot braver than I am,” said Lt. Scott Moore with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.  “When you go in front of a judge, there is a high level of respect in court that must be maintained, and he definitely disrespected the judge and the courtroom so there should be consequences.”

According to the TBI, Boston had no prior arrest history before this incident in court.

Moore says the act looked preplanned.

“I saw the video myself. You could tell he had in his mind what he was going to do and what he was going to say,” he said.

News of the Carthage man’s arrest spread quickly online.

There’s now a GoFundMe accountestablished that says FREE SPENCER.

According to sheriff’s officials, Boston’s bond is $1,500 dollars, but his actions before the judge garnered him a contempt of court charge, which means he has to serve the full sentence the judge mandated.

“There’s a debate over whether marijuana should be legal or not, but the bottom line is here in Tennessee, it is not legal, and we have a responsibility to uphold the law, and that is what we are going to do,” said Moore.

Boston was taken to the Wilson County jail for disorderly conduct and simple possession charges, but it is the contempt of court charge that will keep him locked up for the 10 days

Boston refused an opportunity to talk to News 2 from jail.