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Unformatted text preview: front page was a huge photo of Danny Padgitt being led into the courthouse for his bail hearing. He was handcuffed and wore street clothes. He was also giving the camera one of his patented go-to-hell looks. Just above it was the massive headline: BAIL DENIED FOR DANNY PADGITT. The story was lengthy and detailed. Alongside was another story, almost as long and much more scandalous. Quoting unnamed sources, I described at length the conditions of Mr. Padgitt's incarceration. I mentioned every possible perk he was getting, including personal time with Sheriff Coley over the checkerboard. I talked about his food and diet, color television, unlimited phone use. Everything I could possibly verify. Then I compared this with how the other twenty-one inmates were living. On page two, I ran an old black-and-white file photo of four defendants being led into the courthouse. Each, of course, was wearing the coveralls. Each had handcuffs and unruly hair. I blacked out their faces so, whoever they were, they would not suffer any more embarrassment. Their cases had long since been closed. Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abclit.html I'd placed another picture of Danny Padgitt as he was led into the courthouse next to the file photo. Except for the handcuffs, he could've been on his way to a party. The contrast was startling. The boy was being pampered by Sheriff Coley, who, so far, had refused to discuss the matter with me. Big mistake. In the story, I detailed my efforts to chat with the Sheriff. My phone calls had not been returned. I'd gone to the jail twice and he wouldn't meet with me. I'd left a list of questions for him, which he chose to ignore. I painted the picture of an aggressive young reporter desperately searching for the truth and being stiff-armed by an elected official. Since Lucien Wilbanks was one of the least popular men in Clanton, I included him in the fray. Using the phone, which I was quickly learning was a great equalizer, I called his office four time...
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- Spring '10