Court Stenographer Released from Jail; Promises Judge Transcripts
Posted February 11, 1998
DURHAM — Patt McMann-Byrd, the stenographer who has refused to transcribe tapes from the Todd Boggess trial says she will get the job done. McMann-Byrd was released today from the Durham County jail. But she's not off the hook.
McMann-Byrd walked out of the Durham County jail late this afternoon. Her story includes an unfinished murder trial transcript, demands for more money, a contempt charge, a Florida arrest, nearly three weeks in jail and now, another shot at freedom.
Calm, determined and ready to get out of jail, Patt McMann-Byrd insisted that she would finish the transcript, but didn't want to have to put any money down to be freed. So what assurance would the court have?"My word. I absolutely intend to be here. I have no reason not to be."For the first time, McMann-Byrd produced typed transcript volumes from the trial. She says 23 volumes are already typed, but need to be proofed. The whole trial will likely be 40 volumes long.
Judge Orlando Hudson agreed to let her out of jail by his rules."We gonna play baseball. We gonna baseball. And its my bat and my ball."Hudson says he just doesn't want any curve balls, he doesn't want to have to track her down again."Until I walk out the door and I'm heading down the highway, I don't think I'll feel anything till then."While McMann-Byrd heads to her new home in Illinois to finish the transcript, Todd Boggess' attorneys are starting their appeal preparation... now seriously delayed.Brian Aus/Attorney:"We just, given the circumstances, cannot just say oh yeah this is okay. And this is really what its purported to be. So it's gonna be a long process. We're talking six months to a year down the road before we'll even be in the position to say yeah this is the true transcript."McMann-Byrd and her husband are heading to Illinois. She says she'll finish a volume of transcript every week until its finished. McMann-Byrd says she still has problems with how much she'll get paid, but she will take that up with the Administrative Office of the Courts and says she won't hold up Todd Boggess' appeal any longer.