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Judge orders defendant's mouth taped shut during sentencing

Judge orders defendant's mouth taped shut during sentencing

Cuyahoga County Judge John Russo instructed a crook's mouth be shut using a strip of red duct tape when the talkative thief wouldn't stop interrupting his own lawyers during his Monday sentencing hearing, Fox 8 reported. That one began in late 2017, but midway through, prosecutors say Williams cut off his ankle bracelet and fled to Nebraska, where he was apprehended in July.

Russo says he had the right to order this, something Williams clearly never expected. "But more than not, he continued to speak over me and others in the courtroom".

When Williams interjected with "That means you are not letting me tell what's going on", the judge said: "That means zip it, right now, does that make sense?"

A black man was forced to have his mouth taped over because the judge presiding over his court case wanted to stop him from talking.

The defendant in the case, Franklyn Williams, is speaking out about the incident.

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It got so bad that the judge took some drastic - and inappropriate - measures to keep Williams quiet: He eventually ordered six of his court bailiffs to tape Williams' mouth shut. After he previously pleaded guilty to counts of aggravated robbery, kidnapping, theft, misuse of credit cards and having weapons under a disability, Williams claimed he misinformed about when he would be eligible for release.

In a quieted down courtroom, Judge Russo sentenced the 32-year-old to 24 years in prison, 10 years longer than his original sentence. 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. He added that it was perfectly legal for a sheriff's deputy to gag a defendant. "That's what I was trying to tell them", Williams said.

"No it doesn't", the Williams responded.

An appeals court sided with him and threw out the sentence, ordering a second trial.


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