Criminal Justice

Judge's revelation is new twist in saga of man driving in video during suspended-license hearing

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A man accused of driving during a Zoom court hearing for a suspended-license charge, creating a viral moment, is back behind bars again. (Image from Shutterstock)

A man accused of driving during a Zoom court hearing for a suspended-license charge, creating a viral moment, is back behind bars again.

The latest setback for Corey Harris, 44, came after a judge said the defendant never had a Michigan driver’s license at all—and he had an outstanding bench warrant in a prior unlicensed driving case.

The New York Post, WXYZ, the Detroit News and Fox 2 Detroit have coverage of the hearing, while a deputy editor for HuffPost posted the news on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Judge J. Cedric Simpson of Ann Arbor, Michigan, said Harris has a current state-issued ID, which is only available to people without a driver’s license.

“Let me make it very clear,” Simpson said Wednesday, citing his research. Harris “has never had a Michigan license. Ever. And he has never had a license in the other 49 states and commonwealths that form up this great union.”

Simpson said Harris also had an outstanding 2015 bench warrant in a case for driving without a license and ordered Harris to return to jail. If police in that prior case don’t pick him up, Harris will be released on $500 bond, according to the New York Post.

The news is another twist in a saga that began with reports on Harris’ May 15 court appearance. At that time, Simpson appeared amazed to see the defendant driving at the beginning of the Zoom hearing, despite facing a charge of driving on a suspended license.

Then WXYZ reported that a different judge had rescinded the suspension of Harris’ license more than two years ago, but the clearance was apparently not reported to the Michigan secretary of state’s office.

On Tuesday, however, court officials said the lifting of the suspension wasn’t reported because Harris never paid fees to the clerk’s office, according to WXYZ.

According to the latest reports, a prior judge had indeed ordered the license suspension for unpaid child support, but there was no license to suspend. What actually happened, Simpson said, was that the privilege of driving in Michigan was suspended, not a license.

Suspensions are still allowed in such cases because people wouldn’t be allowed to drive if they did obtain a license, WXYZ explains.

Harris’ lawyer, Dionne Webster-Cox, told WXYZ that her client planned to pursue a driver’s license.

“It should be something a lesson for all of us,” Webster-Cox said. “Handle your business. At the end of the day, handle your business.”

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