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Michigan man arrested again after viral Zoom appearance

The Michigan man who appeared in court for driving while license suspended – and then blamed it on a typo – is back in jail after another wild twist in the viral story.

Washtenaw County Judge J. Cedric Simpson announced Wednesday after reviewing court and state records that 44-year-old Corey Harris never had a valid driver's license.

The judge also noted that there was an arrest warrant out for Harris, of course for driving without a license.

“Let me be very clear: Based on what the court has examined – [Harris] “He's never had a Michigan license. Ever,” Simpson said, visibly annoyed. “And he's never had a license in the other 49 states and Commonwealths that make up this great union. He's never had a license.”

Harris' bizarre court appearance from his car went viral last month. The Honorable Judge Cedric Simpson on Storyful

Harris had previously stated that he had taken all necessary steps to regain his license after the suspension, and the judge sensationally found that this was indeed the case.

Yet for some reason, court officials and the Department of Motor Vehicles never saw fit to verify that Harris actually had a valid driver's license.

Simpson accused Harris in court on Wednesday of causing the “turmoil” surrounding his May 15 court appearance, which went viral on the Internet. He was subsequently sentenced to two days in jail.

Harris had claimed that his arrest for driving without a license was due to a clerical error.

During his thorough investigation of Harris's case, the judge learned that he had never held a driver's license, having visited the Secretary of State's office to renew his identity card in December 2023 – when Harris said he was in bed with injuries resulting from a traffic accident.

Michigan residents have either a state-issued identification card or a driver's license – but not both.

Corey Harris appeared in court on Wednesday and was sharply reprimanded by the judge for never having had a driver's license. YouTube / Hon J Cedric Simpson Live Feed

“He's been getting a new ID every year. And that's how he knows he doesn't have a driver's license,” Simpson warned. “And honestly, I wish he had said that right from the start and all this fuss could have been avoided.”

Prosecutors also argued in court Wednesday that Harris twice admitted to a Pittsfield Township police officer that he was not a legal driver during the October traffic stop that led to his viral court date.

Judge Cedric Simpson ordered Harris's detention after discovering an outstanding warrant for driving without a license in another Michigan city. The Honorable Judge Cedric Simpson on Storyful

Dionne Webster-Cox, Harris' new defense attorney, acknowledged that her client should not have been driving during his court date in May, but said he had no influence on how the video appeared on the Internet.

Harris has since paid the reinstatement fee and will soon have an appointment at the Secretary of State's office to get his learner's permit and ultimately his driver's license, she said.

Harris, who was standing with a cane, apparently bent over in pain and was given a chair to sit on at this point in the hearing.

“From that day on, he has worked diligently to take the necessary steps to obtain a driver's license,” Webster-Cox told the court.

She was shocked when Simpson also told her that there was a warrant out for Harris's arrest from Allen Park that had been in place for nine years.

“The shocking thing is that he didn't take care of it even though his license was suspended,” Simpson said.

Simpson said he decided to detain Harris on the warrant because he had ignored it for nearly a decade.

If Allen Park police decide not to arrest him by Thursday, he will be released on $500 bail.

His next court date was scheduled for August 7.