|2/19/2007 – Monday, February 19, 2007|
By Clint Confehr
Kathy Lynne Rosenberg, left, stands with her new attorney, C. Kelly Wilson, in Bedford County Circuit Court.
An alleged identity thief has a new lawyer, and a grandfather — with a conviction substantiating the allegation that he’s a “dirty old man” — may be extradited to Bedford County for the second time.
Those were two developments in Bedford County Circuit Court last Thursday when Judge Lee Russell presided over those cases concerning Kathy Lynn Rosenberg, 47, and Jimmy Arlene “No Fingers Jim” Hull, 69.
The cases are unrelated, but both defendants tried to avoid court appearances by sending a fax to court officers claiming they were too sick to come.
Hull’s nickname is from a birth defect, according to one of his daughters as confirmed by a Florida lawman, and court records signed Thursday indicate he’ll face extradition for violating parole as a result of his failure to register in Florida as a sex offender.
Meanwhile, Rosenberg, who’s listed with a Dogwood Lane address, faces identity theft charges. Records and her former lawyer, John Norton, say she wrote $477,000 worth of checks from a bank account in her name, but with someone else’s Social Security number.
Norton explained Rosenberg was moving to Moore County from Rhode Island, opened the account, doesn’t know why someone else’s Social Security number is connected with the account, and was buying land, a log cabin kit and, among other things, a $58,000 truck.
The truck dealership has the same bank as Rosenberg’s, so it disregarded her instruction that the checks be held until her money arrived and that led to the discrepancy with the Social Security number, Norton said. Later, her nine-year prison sentence imposed for theft on Feb. 4, 1997, in Sullivan County was revealed.
A charge of failure to appear in Bedford County Circuit Court is pending against Rosenberg in connection with a fax received by Norton who presented it to Russell and Assistant District Attorney Mike Randles. It says she couldn’t come from Rhode Island because of chemo therapy. The judge, prosecutor and defense attorney have apparently concluded the fax is a fraud.
Professional ethics require attorneys to prevent their clients from violating the law and report when they believe a law may have been broken. That’s what Norton faced, he told Russell who authorized him to withdraw as Rosenberg’s lawyer.
Kelly Wilson on Thursday said he was hired on Monday by Rosenberg’s mother, a resident of Rhode Island, but he knew little about the case.
“She had a conflict with her previous attorney,” Wilson said of his new client. “She was charged with failure to appear and he may have to be a witness in that case.”
Wilson said he’d not met Rosenberg who was then about to be brought into the courtroom from a holding room. She’s been held without bond in the county jail since Jan. 22.
Hull’s return to the jail here depends on processing of extradition papers by the governor’s office, although Hull waived his right to resist extradition from Florida in March last year.
With an affidavit from Alex Eskew of Tennessee’s Parole and Probation office in Tullahoma, Judge Russell was advised that Hull had apparently violated terms of his probation after serving seven months in the county jail for sexual battery by an authority figure.
He was the adult who was driving girls, including a Spring Hill, Fla., High school co-ed, on a vacation to one of Bedford County’s small towns. Adults realized there was inappropriate conduct on Hull’s part, filed charges and he was arrested, released on bond, but after a preliminary hearing before Judge Charles Rich, he went back to Florida.
Hull was still in Florida on March 20 when he was indicted and scheduled to be in court. That led to his extradition last year from the county jail in Land o’ Lakes, Fla.
He was found, however, with the help of his daughter, Kimberly Rogers, then 36, of Kenosha, Wisc., who said she called lawmen to report what she’d found from phone calls made after she realized her father was wanted.
Jim Lawless, a sergeant with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Department, confirmed the tale last year. Rogers called a couple of taverns at Port Richie asking bartenders if they’d seen “No Fingers Jim.” At least one had, so she called police there.
Ironically, Hull had advised his bail bondsman last spring that he couldn’t get back to Bedford County for his hearing because of back pain, and that information was provided by a fax.