By Kevin Hogencamp
Somebody is lying about whether Albany Municipal Court Judge Willie Weaver hit his wife with a beer bottle on May 21.
Either it’s Albany police, who say that Weaver’s wife, Vester Weaver, told them that her husband assaulted her, causing a facial laceration that required six stitches at Palmyra Medical Center.
Or it’s medical personnel, who have a similar story about Vester Weaver’s account of an alleged altercation at Albany police Capt. Mack Green’s house, during which police say Weaver had been drinking and waved a handgun.
Or it’s Vester Weaver, who says her husband has never struck her, but refuses to answer questions or explain why police and medical personnel claim that she told him she was a domestic violence victim.
After the Albany City Commission decided last week to allow Weaver to take a fully paid, $17,500, 90-day vacation at taxpayer expense as his criminal case proceeds, Vester Weaver called a press conference to publically proclaim she is standing by her man.
Weaver, who works for the Albany City Commission, is released on $10,000 bond. In a split vote, the Sylvester City Commission decided this week to allow Weaver to continue serving that city as Municipal Court judge.
Monday’s press conference was at Cathedral of Praise on West Broad Avenue. Following are the statements made by Weaver; James Bush, her pastor and chairman of the Dougherty County School Board; and Loretta Boges, a pastor and family friend. None would answer questions afterward.
My husband, Willie C. Weaver Sr., has been accused of striking me with a beer bottle. My husband did not hit me with a beer bottle, nor has he ever hit me. There is a stay away order in place so that my husband and I cannot be in physical contact with each other and cannot be together with our children.
I never requested this order and wish to have the order removed so that my husband and I can live together and take care of our small children that we are raising together. I wish to be with my husband and have requested the state to remove the stay away order and dismiss all charges against my husband, Willie C. Weaver, Sr.
I bring you greetings from the Greater Pines Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. The Weaver family are members our church and is an important part of our community. They have been there for us in our time of need. Now they need our community support, and we are here for them.
Mrs. Weaver had wanted to make comments before today but she continues to find herself fearful and distrustful of the media and some law enforcement agencies and personnel. She has been forced to learn that sometimes you hear things in the media that are not really based on the truth. She also has been forced to learn that you can be separated from your family members with no understanding of how and why it occurred. So, understandably, she is fearful and distrustful. Nevertheless, she has found the courage to stand before you today.
I am Pastor of The HOPE Center. I have been a part of this community for over 30 years. Because I am a part of this community, I know Willie Weaver Sr. Many of you all also know Willie Weaver Sr. Yes, we are proud of him and sometimes refer to him as Judge Weaver.
Over the last few weeks we have heard a lot of things based upon misinformation and gossip. However, I was raised according to scripture which says that we should speak what we know to be true.
What we know is that Willie Weaver has also been a part of the community. He has been a part of the Albany, Georgia, Dougherty County community all of his life, except for the time he was away serving his country in the U.S. Army and attending college and law school.
Willie has demonstrated that he is an honorable, giving man. He has helped many individuals and groups in our community. Several examples include: Serving as an elected member and Chairman of the Dougherty County School Board; For ten years he has sponsored a back to school picnic for hundreds of disenfranchise children giving them school supplies the weekend before school starts; he has successfully encouraged many to obtain high diplomas, GEDs and college degrees. He proudly coaches his children’s Little League baseball team, where his wife, Vester, serves as team mom.
As busy as he is, he is a man who always takes time for the multitude of people who call upon him. When called, he goes. He goes to many church programs, to the school functions, to the community events, and even to the birthday party of the 80-year-old grandmother across town. He feeds the hungry and clothes those who don’t have sufficient clothing. I have seen him go into his own pocket time after time, never complaining.
As a Municipal Court judge, he has applied the law, but has been fair and just in doing so. He takes his job as a judge seriously, but also treats every person with respect. No matter what side of the table you find yourself standing on, he will treat you with respect. Unfortunately, there are people in this world in important positions that do not think everyone should be treated with respect. They do not like the fact that as a judge, Willie Weaver is that kind of person. So, as a result, this kind of thing happens.
At this point, we all know Willie Weaver has been arrested — wrongfully and without any just basis. This process has been unjust, unfair, and destructive of a strong black family. Some people cannot stand to see a hard-working man, who takes care of his wife and children and supports his community, do well. That is what is going on here. We stand here today and for the duration of this unbelievable injustice for Mrs. Vester Weaver, her husband, their children and family and ask that this injustice end now.
For the sake of two small children, who need both of their parents at the same time, and for the sanctity of family unity with this family and every family in this county, we ask that the order forbidding this family from worshipping and living together end now! Today it is the Weaver family. If we don’t take a stand and insist that this craziness end now, my family or your family can be next.
For the sake of justice, we join Mrs. Vester Weaver in asking that the charges against her husband, Municipal Court Judge Willie C. Weaver Sr. be dismissed immediately so that the man can continue to work hard and support his family and community.