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Hunn: The New Shemp?


This Thursday in Preston, the little town that put Idaho in the talkies, a county judge will go on trial for turning his courtroom into a reenactment of the classic 1939 Three Stooges short, Disorder in the Court. At issue is whether Magistrate Judge Eric Hunn assaulted a handcuffed defendant on Feb. 22, or whether he just gave the defendant a non-threatening dope-slap like the one Moe gives Curly for accidentally shooting the bailiff with a firehose. Heck, the victim himself even seems to think it was a lovetap.

In an affidavit signed April 11 and quoted by the Pocatello Idaho State Journal, 19-year-old Benjamin Hansen stated that while he and several attorneys were gathered in the judge's chambers, Hunn gave him a little "man-to-man" mentoring by way of around three to five smacks on the mug. A few minutes earlier, Hansen had become distraught in the courtroom while Hunn was sentencing him for convictions of driving without privileges, underage drinking and unlawful entry.

"[He] slapped me on the face like that a few times and said, 'Buck up, you know, it's not a big deal,'" Hansen writes. Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden's office wasn't quite as understanding, and it is charging Hunn with misdemeanor assault. The accuser-turned-accused reportedly took an indefinite leave on Feb. 28, and the case will be presided over by a district court judge from Bannock County.