Was 25-year old Efrem Berry accused of murder but allowed to leave court because no judge showed up for 15 minutes? That's a load of nonsense, it did not happen, there is no 15-minute rule in court that says you go free if the judge is late.
The story originated from satirical website 8shit.net which published an article on March 30, 2018 titled "Murderer Walks Free After Judge Doesn't Show Up For 15 Minutes" (archived here) which opened:
Efrem Berry, a 25-year old man who was accused of murder a month ago, has walked free from court after the judge didn't show up for 15 minutes and the man was legally allowed to leave.
Berry walked away from court yesterday after flipping off the entire jury present in the room. No one could do absolutely anything, because the judge Tyrone Allen broke the 15-minute rule, which states that if the judge is 15 minutes late, the accused is legally allowed to leave.
No such thing happened, the man in the picture illustrating the story is actually 22-year old Fouad Saleh who was convicted for several murders in Sweden earlier this year:
De fem vännerna mördade tillsammans. Ledande: Fouad Saleh, 22 - som dödade en man för att senare söka upp ett vittne och hugga ihjäl honom och hans fru. För det straffas han med livstid. Vännerna Mikael Chamoun, Munir Nooraldin och Amir Jabbari Taklar döms också till fängelse medan en 17-åring får sluten ungdomsvård.
We were able to determine there does happen to be a real "Efrem Berry" who was listed as being granted a commutated sentence by President Barack Obama:
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute a detectable amount of cocaine; possession with intent to distribute less than 50 kilograms of marijuana; possession with intent to distribute a detectable amount of 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine, aka MDMA
District/Date: Middle District of Georgia; November 9, 2006
Sentence: 235 months' imprisonment; six years' supervised release
Terms of grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 151 months' imprisonment.
But this clearly isn't the same guy as he wasn't accused of murdering anyone.
We wrote about 8shit.net and their brand of "faux satire" (aka "fauxtire") before, here are some more examples:
- Fake News: Vegan Couple Did NOT Adopt Broccoli Because They Don't Want A Flesh And Blood Child
- Fake News: Facebook Did NOT Help Coma Patient Deal With Memory Loss By Sending Him All His Personal Information
- Fake News: NO Priest Arrested After Being Caught With 10kg Of Cocaine
- Fake News: Cops Did NOT Beat Up Teen After Bank Teller Mistakes His Erection For A Pistol
- Fake News: French Man Did NOT Rob Woman Using Only Bread
Because 8shit.net carries a disclaimer on its about page that reads:
8Shit is a satire and humor website.
It contains cutting edge satire on a diverse range of topics.
The website publishes fake news, shocking rumors and reports with incisive sarcasm, and humor.
We also post crazy real news which often sounds too good to be true.
And an additional disclaimer in the footer of every page:
8Shit is a satire news and humor website. All its content is fiction (except those posts under the "serious" category) and shouldn't be taken as real. All references, names and marks or institutions in this website are used as contextual elements, like in any novel or science-fiction story.