Judge chases down, confronts man accused of beating disabled woman

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A criminal court judge jumped into action, chasing down and confronting a man she said was beating a disabled woman.

Judge Paula Skahan, who is running for re-election next month, said she was just heading out to run an errand and is still shaken by what she saw.

She is used to seeing justice served in her courtroom, but Sunday night, she made sure it was served on the streets.

"It's shocking, and it's upsetting," she said of what she witnessed. "I just reacted."

Skahan said she was leaving home when she saw Roy Briggs punching a woman in his passenger seat.

"I rolled down my window, and I looked at him and yelled something at him. I don't even remember exactly what it was. It was something like, 'You m-f, I know I didn't just see you hit her!'"

She said the victim, Beverly Williams, begged her to call police.

Briggs took off, with Williams still in the passenger seat, so Skahan dialed 911 and started chasing him.

"'The guy's turning, and I'm trying to keep up with him,'" she said. "Then he turned on Adams and stopped. He got out of his car and came back to me, and I'm like, 'Oh my God. Does he have a gun? What's he going to do?' He came back and said, 'It's just a misunderstanding.'"

Skahan told him she knew what she saw and that she had called police.

Briggs got back in his car, and Skahan followed him to the apartment complex where he and Williams live on Beale.

Police were waiting, but what Skahan saw when Williams got out of the car made her heart sink even more.

"I could see the woman was disabled," she said. "She had had a stroke."

Skahan said Williams told her she and Briggs are in a relationship, and that he is her caretaker.

The judge hopes she will not return to the abuse and hopes others will step in if they see someone in danger.

"Do something," she implored of anyone who witnesses violence. "Don't let this continue. That's how people get killed."

Briggs' bond was set at $2,000.

Skahan explained that even if Williams chooses not to testify, the case can go forward with Skahan as a witness.


  • Alexus

    Don’t fall for this publicity stunt people. Research every candidate before you blindly fall for a publicity stunt.

  • jean

    Is this the same sitting judge that actively and regularly campaigns known felon Brett Thompson (dis-barred attorney)?????

  • Sally Smith

    She has a lot of courage. I think I’ve grown so jaded to the violence in this town that I might not have felt anything if I had witnessed what she did. As a criminal court judge, it is really admirable for her to still care about people so much that she would risk her own life.

  • takenobull

    Well she is no lady. I don’t think people in positions of suppose respectability and importance to the community should be calling any one M……. f……… If they do they should not be so proud to broadcast it on the evening news for children to see. But hey we a changing society and we voted for change.

  • GotMyVote

    I agree completely! She put her life on the line! Anyone who replies negatively, should ashamed of themselves!

  • Hooligan

    great job channel three….five children, three critical, were shot in the foote homes tonight at fourth and vance and this is the top of your “news’ page….you got some real good reporters over there…..the facist news media complex protecting black incompetent politicians every chance you get…shame on you…

  • AnglesAmongUs

    The victum don’t have to wonder if she’ll be beaten to death today. Thanks to Judge Paula Skahan. She has my vote. People posting Negative Replies, remember God don’t like ugly! God guided Judge Paula Skahan and the victum. God Bless both of ya!

  • Fabon Washington

    Judge Skahan is horrible and has always played favorites in her court. All you folks saying she has my vote need to check here record for sentencing both who and how, remember the way she handeled Ms. Fullilove.

    This is a woman who will not miss a shot at grandstanding and I could very much believe this was political in motivation.

    I have witnessed this woman many times in court being so mean spirited and demeaning to folks who must go before her, she has a privileged mentality.

    The only thing that makes me want to believe Judge Joe and what he said about Amy Wieirich is that you have folks like Paula Skahan working on the bench and strage bed-fellows make me wonder about prosecution and pillow talk on the D L.

    • NathanJr

      The fact remains, Ms. Skahan stopped a attack on a disabled women. Instead of driving off , Ms. Skahan took a stand. I hope the next person would do the same, reguardless of the negative feedback. That’s how lives are saved. If one person had taken a stand, then just maybe my mother would be here today.

  • linda

    Are the naysayers saying that this judge set up this scenario of a stroke victim being beaten so that she could get some good press??? REALLY???

  • GotMyVote

    I would use the MF word back to back if it would take the focus off the victim. Judge Paula Skahan redirected the attacker’s focus off the disabled women. Smart move Judge Paula Skahan!

  • takenobull

    She used the M F word on channel 3 news as if she was proud of her sleazy behavior. One thing to say it to the attacker another to shout it on TV news not classy

  • GotMyVote

    She was reporting the facts. The fact remains, Judge Paula Skahan saved that women’s life while others drove away. Praise God for guiding Judge Paula Skahan & the victim. God Work!

  • Jason

    My concerns are for the victim, not the language. Judge Paula Skahan got my vote. My sister suffered from abuse . My vote for Judge Skahan was in memory of my sister. I pray from the victims everyday.

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