The prosecutor in Willie Nelson's marijuana possession case said the country music legend could get off with just a fine if he agrees to sing one of his songs in court, TMZ reported Monday.
Nelson, 77, was busted at a border patrol checkpoint in Sierra Blanca, Texas, en route to Austin on November 25 last year. He was arrested but released when he posted $2,500 bond at Hudspeth County Jail.
The prosecutor in the case said he was willing to let Nelson off with a $100 fine if Nelson performed his song "Blue Eyes Smiling in the Rain" in the courtroom, TMZ said. The prosecutor reportedly said the song would count as Nelson's community service.
If Nelson chooses not to accept the prosecutor's offer, he could face a maximum of 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine if convicted when he appears in court, at a date yet to be decided.The judge said that's not happening and later characterized the offer as a "joke," but Nelson deserves a mistrial and dismissal of charges over that sort of garbage. I don't often agree with SL&P commenter Bill Otis, but he was spot on when he declared, "I have no idea if the prosecution is frivolous, but I'm sure the prosecutor is." Community service, indeed!
If the prosecutor wants to haul Nelson into court more for his celebrity than his offense, indeed, apparently simply for his own enjoyment, it wouldn't surprise me if the same was true of officers who busted him in the first place. Thanks in part to wasteful border security grants, the Sheriff's department in Hudspeth County has 17 deputies who handled just 24 index crimes in 2009, the Texas Tribune reported in December, so I'm sure this was the most interesting thing to happen on their beat in many a year.
The funniest thing to me about all this is that the prosecutor got the song wrong! Willie's famous tune isn't "Blue Eyes Smiling in the Rain," but "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain," thus completing the picture of an ignorant, star-eyed hick who was just happy to be in the same courtroom as the Red-Headed Stranger. What an embarrassment: Thanks, Mr. Prosecutor, for reinforcing every jerkwad stereotype about Texans and Texas Justice held by the rest of the country. (The story has Doug Berman at SL&P soliciting Texan jokes.)
It could have been worse, I suppose. He could have asked for "Georgia on My Behind."