Partying with teenagers became very costly for a Madison County businessman. Madison County Justice Court Judge Bruce McKinley sentenced Cliff Torrence to 360 days in prison and fined him $8,000 for eight convictions of violating the social host law. He also sentenced him to serve six months in prison and fined him an additional $1,000 for contributing to the delinquency of minors.*
Mr. Torrence was absent when his attorney submitted his guilty plea in December. Judge McKinley postponed sentencing until yesterday and ordered Mr. Torrence to appear. Superstar defense attorney Bill Kirksey represented Mr. Torrence. Assistant District Attorneys Bubba Bramlett and Todd McAlphin prosecuted the case after then-County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Phillips recused himself.
Mr. Torrence hosted a party for teens at his home on July 19, 2014. Madison County Deputies and ABC agents arrived and discovered a group of teens drinking and carousing at the Torrence home. They arrested Torrence and charged him with eight counts of violating the social host law.
Mr. Torrence and Judge McKinley are probably becoming too familiar with each other as this is not the convict's first appearance before the respected jurist. Madison County deputies arrested Mr. Torrence on July 14, 2012 for hosting a party at his Flora home for a bunch of teenagers and allowing them to drink. A wreck took place on his property and an ambulance was dispatched. Sheriff's deputies accompanied Flora rescue to the scene. One officer approached the swimming pool behind the house and observed the teens:
running and throwing beer cans as they fled. Coolers of beer and alcohol was found throughout the outside of the residence. Flora rescue arrived and treated the female teenager. Davis ultimately arrested Torrence, and together with Moffett, briefly interviewed the teenagers and called their parents."
Madison County Justice Court Judge Bruce McKinley fined Mr. Torrence $1,000 and imposed a prison sentence of 90 days but suspended 60 days. Madison County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Phillips handled the prosecution Mr. Torrence appealed to County Court in Madison County.
Thus, Mr. Torrence managed to escape the thirty-day sentence Judge McKinley wanted to impose and only paid a thousand-dollar fine. The 2014 violations occurred while he was serving the sentence of unsupervised probation. Mr. Phillips filed a motion to show cause on July 23, 2014 and asked the court to revoke his probation and incarcerate him for 90 days. The motion also disclosed Mr. Torrence had not completed the Courtwatch analysis program. Earlier post with copy of each case file.
The hearing was supposed to be held on August 18, 2014 but was continued until November 10, 2014. The November hearing did not take place as Judge Steve Ratcliff recused himself on November 7. He stated that the "court had been contacted by someone other than defense counsel on behalf of the defendant with information about this case." The Mississippi Supreme Court appointed Retired Circuit Judge Breland Hilburn to hear the case on November 13.
The docket contains no entries after that date. There are no motions to schedule a hearing, no notices, no nothing. The case is just there, collecting dust.
However, the case may not be close. Mr. Torrence stated on Facebook yesterday that the convictions were "tragic news" and that he "will appeal this decision".
*Judge McKinley imposed a 90 day prison sentence but suspended 45 days for each conviction. However, he ordered the sentences to run consecutively.
Note: Who can forget this video?