Judge speaks out about Anthony Millbrooks decision

FORREST CITY, AR (KAIT) - The judge who released murderer Anthony Millbrooks in St. Francis County is now answering why he did it.

"My consideration was that justice should be mixed with mercy," Judge L.T. Simes said. "He had a baby child he hadn't seen. He'd been in jail for almost two and a half, three years. He hadn't seen the child, he hadn't held the child."

Judge Simes said Millbrooks' lawyer persuaded him to accept the furlough recommendation. But Judge Simes admitted he would not make the same decision again. 

"At this moment, with the experience we had, the answer would probably be, 'No,'" Simes said.

Many in the community hoped this would be the case. 

"There's no way I would have let this guy go. No way," St. Francis County Sheriff Bobby May said. "I don't know why he did it."

"I took an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, to support the Constitution of Arkansas. We're also required to do justly, love mercifully, and walk humbly before God. So I was persuaded to do it. But I'm just thankful that he didn't have ill will in his heart," Judge Simes said. 
But Sheriff May was not convinced.

"This guy is a killer. He's bragged about killing two people," May said. 
"I had no knowledge of the defendant bragging about any heinous crime," Simes said. 

"There's no law against a judge making a bad decision. If there were then I'd come into play. People come to me and complain about this," May said. 

"Naturally, everybody was concerned, understandably," Simes said. "We needed something to happen good quickly and we just thank God he performed what we call another miracle."

Judge Simes sentenced Millbrooks to 22 years in prison Friday. But Judge Simes says he also found out some new information at his sentencing. 

"On the date that he was to be here in court [Aug. 22], he called his lawyer and told him he was in Jonesboro," Simes said. 

Region 8 asked Simes why the lawyer did not notify police of Millbrooks' whereabouts. 

"Well, I don't wanna be critical of Mr. Bianca. That's between the lawyer and the client," Simes said. "He and his attorney apologized to the court. I accept his apology. And quite frankly, Miss Jessica, I accept the defendant's apology as well because it ended up ok."

The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission has reprimanded Judge Simes more than 22 times for ethical violations.

Judge Simes would not comment on these cases. 

For the background story on the Anthony Millbrooks case, click here

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