City court on Tuesday slapped down efforts by a radio journalist to help a woman facing three criminal charges.
East Ridge Judge Cris Helton ordered David Tulis to sit down as he arose with defendant Christina Wright and stood next to her at one of two podiums afforded defendants and members of the public. Mrs. Wright is a mother of two daughters and works as fast food restaurant shift manager in Brainerd.
She faces three counts under the state transportation statute.
Judge Helton said that only an attorney can speak for a criminal defendant and that Tulis faces the prospect of being accused of the unlicensed practice of law in any attempt to speak on behalf of Mrs. Wright.
Judge Helton delayed her case to July 17 and scolded Tulis for an improper act.
Tulis, host of a morning talk show at 92.7 NoogaRadio, identified himself as Mrs. Wright’s “next friend” and asked if it was a criminal matter, and whether he could speak for her.
Judge Helton said Tulis could not address the court because he is not an attorney, and cannot represent the accused.