KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Bankrupt financier C. H. Butcher Jr. pulled two diamond rings off his fingers and surrendered them in federal court today after he angered a judge by refusing to testify about who owned the rings.
Butcher, 48, gave up the rings without protest when U.S. District Judge James Jarvis said one of his creditors, Thomas DuVoisin, had the right to seize the property.
Butcher attorney John Valliant sought to keep the rings in the former banker's possession by arguing that they belonged to his client's son, C. H. (Butch) Butcher III, who was not present at the 40-minute hearing.
Butcher Jr., brother of imprisoned Jake Butcher, was called to the witness stand but refused to answer any questions, except for stating his name.
DuVoisin, trustee for Butcher's failed Southern Industrial Banking Corp., won a $28-million judgment against Butcher on the ground that his malfeasance caused the collapse. DuVoisin sought to seize the rings to satisfy the judgment after Butcher was seen wearing the rings at a deposition last month.