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Judge: Attorney showed up with a “high degree” of alcohol in system

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Attorney William Hutchins Attorney William Hutchins

BARDSTOWN, KY (WAVE) – A domestic violence court case in Nelson County takes an unusual turn when one attorney gets hauled off to jail.

It happened inside Judge John Seay's Circuit Courtroom in late September.

Fifteen minutes into the hearing, the judge apparently noticed something out of the ordinary with the actions of Attorney William Hutchins.

In court video, Hutchins tries to argue about a piece of evidence.

"I'm going to object to the authentication of this. It came from a device… we don't know who sent it. We don't know the language. I think authenticating this is going to be ridiculous," Hutchins said when he spoke for the first time, which was five minutes into the hearing.

Five minutes after that, Hutchins tries to attack the defendant, claiming that the defendant has an issue with alcohol.

"We all know you have a problem. I just want to know what you're going (sic: to do to do) to deal with it," Hutchins says to the defendant during the hearing.

But as it turns out, the judge says it's Hutchins who has the problem.

"Let me see counsel in chambers," Judge John Seay said, stopping the proceedings 15 minutes into the hearing.

The recess started at 9:50 am and ended at 10:23 am, which is when the hearing resumed.

Hutchins didn't return to the hearing; he instead had been hauled off to jail.

"Mr. Hutchins tested positive for alcohol, to a very high degree actually so I've sent him to jail for contempt. I'm going to release him once he reaches triple zeros. It's really for safety. You're not just supposed to come to court intoxicated," Judge Seay said during the hearing.

There's no court record of what happened during the recess, including what device or method may have been used in the determination of making the claims against Hutchins.

We stopped by his office, but Hutchins wasn't available. When reached by phone, he didn't want to talk about it.

When Hutchins was asked by WAVE 3's Matt McCutcheon, "Judge Seay said some pretty strong things about you in the courtroom; is there anything you want to say about that," Hutchins responded, "No, I wouldn't have any comment on that at this time."

The court hearing wrapped up about 30 minutes after everyone came back from recess. The plaintiff stated she would be hiring a different attorney.

"I can't imagine an attorney showing up for a court case drunk," said stunned Bardstown resident Pam Tillotson. "I would have demanded a refund," she laughed.

Hutchins spent less than 24 hours in jail, but isn't facing any other charges.

The court document only states, "Court found Attorney Hutchins in contempt and sentenced him to jail for 24 hours, unless sooner released."

WAVE 3 also uncovered that Hutchins was later removed as the Master Commissioner for the Nelson Circuit Court. Michelle Buckley Sparks was put in his place, under court order on September 28 by Judge Charles Simms, III.

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