Judge does her homework online, boosts trespasser's fine

FRANKFORT, Ky. - A Kentucky judge did a little online research about a trespasser suspect and didn't like what she found - so she hauled the man back into court and increased his punishment.

The State Journal in Frankfort reports Franklin District Judge Kathy Mangeot originally fined Gary Thompson $100 and waived court costs when he was arraigned Tuesday morning in a trespassing case. 

After the arraignment, Mangeot says she searched Thompson's name on the Internet and found news coverage in which he told Lexington TV stations last year that he faked having a disability while panhandling. So the judge ordered him back into court later in the day, telling him several times not to speak during the proceeding.

She called him a "con artist" and told him to pay court costs and increased his fine.

"I also understand based on the interviews that I watched you speak in, that when you wish to speak in a clear, understandable voice, you do so," Mangeot said. ".The voice you used with me this morning was a voice that I feel certain you were trying to garner sympathy from this court by indicating that you maybe had a mental condition that did not permit you to speak clearly."

She said in the later proceeding that Thompson had used a fake voice designed to gain sympathy.

She also warned that he would be held in contempt of court if he trespassed on the property in question again and jailed.

WLEX-TV in Lexington reported that Thompson said he used to be a millionaire. He told the station he got a $2.4 million settlement in 1993 over a motorcycle crash, but he blew it all.