Published: Sun, August 05, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Judge Orders Officers To Gag Defendant With Red Tape During His Trial

Judge Orders Officers To Gag Defendant With Red Tape During His Trial

A judge in Cleveland ordered two pieces of tape to be placed over a defendant's mouth because he would not stop talking during sentencing Tuesday. A jury had convicted him on charges that also included kidnapping, theft, and misuse of credit cards in December, and he was returned to Cleveland to be sentenced. Throughout his sentencing hearing, Williams would not stop talking.

The judge noted that the court stenographer would not be able to keep up with the hearing if Williams continued to interrupt and argue over him and his attorneys.

"So, when they put the tape over my mouth, I just felt so humiliated", Williams said after the incident.

Six deputies stood around Williams as one applied the red tape.

However, Williams continued to interrupt. In 2009, an Idaho judge ordered a defendant to be silenced using tape after outbursts, the Associated Press reported.

Williams was eventually sentenced to 24 years in prison.

His trial began in late 2017, but was halted after Williams cut his ankle bracelet and led to Nebraska.

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"That means zip it", said the judge.

Russo says he had the right to order this, something Williams clearly never expected.

Image: Judge John Russo said the move was necessary to maintain decorum.

"Everybody has the opportunity to make a record with my court reporter but we can't do it at the same time, we can't do it yelling over each other".

Later, the frustrated judge asked: "Does the comment, 'quit talking, ' do you understand that?" I don't even remember me going to a trial. Williams complained about authorities removing his possessions from his cell, and just meeting his attorney "the other day", but Russo said this was brought up at the wrong time.

'Zip it, until I give you the chance to talk'.

"I will say knowing Mr. Williams due to my handling of his four cases, Mr. Williams was someone who liked to speak". Williams, 32, was accused of three armed robberies in Richmond Heights and Euclid.

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