Judge Hatchett Hosts a Powerful Teen Intervention in Honor of Martin Luther King Day

Teenage Gang Member Meets Coretta Scott's Close Friend and Ordered to Re-Trace Steps Where Martin Luther King Was Killed


On Martin Luther King Day, Judge Hatchett hosts a powerful intervention for a troubled teen with help from the memory of Coretta Scott King on a special episode of the JUDGE HATCHETT show, airing this Monday, January 15, 2007 (check local listings for station and time).

Sixteen-year-old Josh Chapman from Bayboro, North Carolina, was brought before Judge Hatchett at the request of his mother Tianya Jones. Tianya was worried that her son's violent, dangerous behavior would get him killed. Josh admits he's in a gang, sells drugs for money and respect, started a riot in school, made a porn movie with a girlfriend and carried a gun. When the Judge questioned Josh about his criminal escapades he claimed he only carried the gun for a friend and that he was proud to be the leader of a gang.

In her compassionate, yet no-nonsense manner, the Judge implored Josh to stop wasting his potential. She then sent him to meet a close friend of Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Mrs. Xernona Clayton. Josh visited the National Civil Rights Museum, formerly the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. King was killed. Josh then stepped onto the very spot where the great Martin Luther King lost his life. He then re-traced the steps of the great Coretta Scott King as she carried on the crusade the day after she lost her husband and continued his non-violent movement. He also met with Charles Rachel, a former gang member, whose life was transformed by Mrs. King.

Upon his return to Judge Hatchett's courtroom, Josh spoke of the profound effect the experience had on him and promised the Judge that his gangbanging days were behind him.

Judge Hatchett was deeply moved by the passing of Mrs. King last year, and remembers the profound impact she had on her life. "I have known Mrs. King since I was a little girl. Her daughter, Yolanda and I took music lessons together," Judge Hatchett recalls. "At that point in my life, she was not this pioneering civil rights advocate, but just Yogi, Marty, Dexter and Bunny's mom. In retrospect, I have learned to appreciate the fact that she carried the weight and challenges of the civil rights movement while simultaneously being an incredible mother. Now that I have children of my own, I am humbled by the fact that she balanced both of these tremendous roles so delicately and with amazing dignity and grace. This is a woman that had to deal with her house being bombed and her livelihood constantly threatened, and so she had to balance the safety of her husband and family. The world owes her a debt of gratitude for her commitment, courage and dedication to the on-going struggle to arrive at peace and social equality."

Heading into its eighth season in Fall 2007 with clearances covering 97% of the U.S. in 24 out of the top 25 markets, "Judge Hatchett" from Sony Pictures Television features a diverse mix of family court, juvenile court and small claims cases. Going beyond the usual right/wrong resolution dynamic of the courtroom genre, Judge Glenda Hatchett empowers those who appear before her to make lasting changes in their lives through emotional, inspirational and in-depth interventions. In addition to her television work, Judge Hatchett is a best-selling author and the national spokes-person for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), a non-profit organization that trains volunteers to become advocates for abused and neglected children and help them to navigate the judicial system.

SOURCE: Sony Pictures Television

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Teni_Halburian@spe.sony.com, all of Sony Pictures Television