But the possibility of Watson going to jail Friday, which has been bandied about by interested parties in this cross-county quarrel, was answered emphatically when Judge William Gerald Westbrook stated what he thought about all this talk about jail.
Therell be no jail today, he said. Thats never been on the table I dont put people in jail over politics, unless they make me.
Watson still must answer questions from Summerville attorney Bobby Lee Cook, though. Cook wants to question Watson about postings to her Web site that he believes are relevant to a libel case in which he represents plaintiff Janice Galloway, who is suing Lyerly Mayor Chuck Jones.
Watson has refused to answer questions, even walking out of a Dec. 14 deposition in Cooks office, and has told reporters, her Web readers and others that she would go to jail first.
She nonetheless clasped her hands and smiled broadly upon hearing Westbrooks words Friday, and later said, Im thrilled to death.
But Westbrook also made clear to Watson and her attorney that she must answer Cooks questions. Before today there wasnt an order for a deposition. Today, there is.
A new twist to the tale was Watsons attorney. She had represented herself before hiring Rome attorney David Guldenschuh late Thursday afternoon.
Even Westbrook noted that it was a good step and one that Watson should have taken long ago.
Watson had been trying to hire an attorney she couldnt afford, Guldenschuh told Westbrook, so I guess she came to me for a discount. He also told the judge his overnight preparation wasnt sufficient time to provide effective counsel to Watson, and he asked the judge to postpone the deposition for a limited period of time.
After discussion among Guldenschuh, Cook and Steven Farrow, attorney for Jones, the Jan. 11 date for deposing Watson was set.
Asked about the slight delay after the hearing, Cook said, Im fine with it.