Boston supporters rally on eve of court battle

Published 10:58 am Thursday, November 20, 2008

By Staff
Beleaguered bail bondsman’s hearing will be this morning
Staff Writer
Dozens gathered at a Southern Christian Leadership Conference rally Wednesday night to sing, pray and speak in support of Joe and Mazel Boston ahead of the couple’s court date this morning.
Sylvia Kelsey Tucker, vice chairwoman of the group’s national chapter, urged the Bostons’ supporters to head to the Beaufort County Courthouse for this morning’s hearing.
She urged community members to “send a message to evil.”
Carolyn S. Rogers, Mazel Boston’s sister, a minister and chaplain of the local S.C.L.C. chapter, talked about her gratitude for her faith and urged the community rally around the Bostons.
Speakers denounced the Beaufort County Board of Education and District Attorney Seth Edwards for seeking tens of thousands of dollars in forfeited bonds the Bostons say they don’t owe them.
Speakers claimed that the school board’s decision to file motions seeking the bond money was retaliation for Joe Boston’s criticism of the board’s hiring practices.
In the motions, the board claims the Bostons sneaked motions not backed by evidence past its attorney, thereby recouping money the couple had lost when defendants didn’t appear in court. A judge has signed an order finding for the board on over 80 district-court cases. The hearing today involves a number of superior-court cases.
Local activist Bill Booth said that officials were unresponsive when members of the black community raised concerns about the system’s hiring practices.
The group also sang a number of hymns, including “This Little Light of Mine,” which included a verse “Well, for Joe and Mazel, I’m gonna let it shine.”
The meeting closed with “We Shall Overcome” and a prayer.