(Lehrton, MS) All of Lehrton was there. The conference room at the Big ASS Training Center overflowed as did the halls and the parking lot. The Barber Shop, the Sidewalk, the Lehrton County Coon Hunters Club, the Lehrton Snuff and Garden Club, and all the local pastors were on hand and threatening violence "If Hodge is treated harshly." The local high school even delayed the start of school so they could attend Hodge's sentencing. Consequently, the sheriff's department joined the police presence in an effort to prevent a riot from erupting. The local militia was present, but it was unclear in what capacity they attended. Would they help maintain order or help with its disruption. I presumed the latter.
Dr. Nomann took his seat and gaveled the proceedings into order. At counsel's orders, Hodge and his attorney, Tom Flanagan, both appeared nervous as they approached the bench.
"As a result of your guilty plea to 116 counts of conduct unbecoming a Big ASS athlete and false reporting," Nomann spoke, "I hereby sentence you, Zane Hodge, to a fine of $20.00 and one can of potted meat; in addition, your World Triathlon Championship for the year 2016 is vacated as is your 2016 half Marathon Championship and your 2016 10K World Championship; furthermore, you are banished from the Association for a period of one year at which time you may petition for reinstatement. However, such reinstatement is not guaranteed.
The courtroom erupted with old men trying to jump to their feet. Instead of jumping, many of them fell face down on the floor which apparently led some of the Barber Shop to think they were being attacked. More melee ensued while the old men tried to regain there feet amid cussing and coffee cup throwing. The Lehrton police moved in and began handcuffing and placing overalled octogenarians under arrest. Several member of the all female Snuff and Garden Club threw donuts towards Nomann. A couple of them fainted and more than one swallowed her snuff causing some vomiting on the floor where several old men were still swearing and trying to stand up. Flanagan and Hodge went behind the bench and through Nomann's office where they made it out a side door. I attempted to pursue as they climbed into a waiting pickup and fled out Jimmy Jack Road. But when Hodge's body guards pointed their .410s at my car from the back of their truck, I broke off the chase. As more information emerges, I will report.