Judge suspended for fighting


LITTLE ROCK — A circuit judge in southern Arkansas has been suspended for 30 days without pay for fighting with his estranged wife’s boyfriend in a Walmart store.

The state Supreme Court on Thursday accepted the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission’s recommendation that Sam Pope, circuit judge of the 10th Judicial District, receive the suspension. The court said the suspension would begin immediately.

On April 5, Pope confronted his estranged wife and her boyfriend, Bill Murray, in the Crossett Walmart and a scuffle followed. Store security, other employees, Pope’s estranged wife and their daughter broke up the fight, which was caught on the store’s security camera.

Pope and Murray, who suffered cuts on both sides of his face, were taken into custody by Crossett police. After questioning they were released and agreed not to file charges against each other.

The Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission determined that Pope violated two rules of judicial conduct, failing to comply with the law and failing to promote confidence in the judiciary.

Pope agreed with the commission’s findings and accepted its recommendation. He also agreed to receive anger-management counseling and write a letter of apology to the commission.