Judge: Defendant who went viral over driving with suspended license never had license to begin with. Now he’s arrested again.

News & Politics

Corey Harris went viral last week after video came to light showing him
driving a car during a May 15 Zoom hearing for his case of driving with a suspended license, which garnered Harris plenty of derision.

During that hearing, Judge Cedric Simpson of Ann Arbor, Michigan, announced that Harris’ bond was revoked and ordered him to turn himself in at the Washtenaw County jail by 6 p.m. that same day, or else he’d be held without bond, WJBK-TV reported.

‘It should be something of a lesson for all of us. Handle your business. At the end of the day, handle your business.’

Then it was widely reported earlier this week that another judge in 2022 ordered Harris’ license suspension rescinded — but information about the rescinded suspension never got to the Michigan secretary of state, so the record was never changed. With that, Harris got plenty of sympathy.

However, when Harris appeared Wednesday in front of Judge Simpson — this time in person — Simpson shared shocking new information.

Speaking to Harris’ new attorney, the judge said, “People are saying — and quite frankly your client has made the assertion — that … this court was acting on some type of defective or faulty information. Which I will tell you, counsel, caused the court — given what the court did — to investigate what my ruling was.”

With that, Simpson stated that Harris actually “has never had a Michigan license, ever,” nor has he had a valid driver’s license in any other state, and by the end of the hearing Simpson had Harris arrested right then and there, WXYZ-TV reported.

It turns out that court officials said information about Harris’ rescinded license suspension never got to the Michigan secretary of state because Harris never paid his fees, WXYZ added.

“There was no error by anybody,” Simpson said, according to the station. “It was a failure on the part of Mr. Harris to do certain things.”

So how could Harris’ license be suspended if he didn’t have a license to begin with?

WXYZ reported that in Michigan, individuals can have suspensions on their driving records without having valid driver’s licenses. The station added that if such individuals are able to obtain driver’s licenses, they still wouldn’t have driving privileges until they cleared their suspensions.

A spokesperson for the Michigan secretary of state confirmed to WXYZ — now that the judge made the information public — that Harris has never possessed a valid driver’s license.

While Harris told WXYZ during a Tuesday interview that he didn’t recall if he ever had a valid driver’s license, a Pittsfield Township prosecutor at Wednesday’s hearing said Harris admitted that he didn’t have a license to the officer involved in the October 2022 traffic stop that led to May 15’s viral Zoom hearing.

Judge Simpson by the end of Wednesday’s court session issued a bench warrant for Harris’ arrest — over a 2015 case of driving with a suspended license in Allen Park, WXYZ said.

Harris’ new defense attorney, Dionne Webster-Cox, told the station she was shocked: “It should be something of a lesson for all of us. Handle your business. At the end of the day, handle your business.”

This story has been updated.

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