OH judge orders defiant defendant's mouth taped during court hearing

Sunday, 05 Aug, 2018

That's a defendant named Franklyn Williams with his mouth taped shut, which was done so at the order of Judge Russo.

In December, Williams was convicted of aggravated robbery, kidnapping, theft, misuse of credit cards and other charges, according to court documents.

After about a dozen warnings, Russo grew exhausted of the back-and-forth with Williams.

The Cuyahoga County judge, fed up, ordered deputies to tape the defendant's mouth shut.

The incident took place earlier this week, when a judge in Cleveland, Ohio, ordered Franklyn Williams, 32, to remain silent during his sentencing hearing, according to CNN affiliate WJW. In the first trial, he pleaded guilty and received a 14-year prison sentence.

According to authorities, Williams cut his ankle bracelet and disappeared to Nebraska in the middle of his trial previous year.

Six sheriff's deputies walk up to Williams and as Williams tries to get up, one of the officers is shown forcing him back down. "This judge should be disbarred", said a third commenter. "My intent was never to silence Mr. Williams", said Judge Russo.

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"I'm the judge in the matter", Judge John Russo eventually told him.

"Everybody has the right to go on the record with my court reporter".

"Does the comment, 'quit talking, ' do you understand that?"

Judge Russo issued another warning: "I want to make it real clear, if you spit on, attempt to bite, or injure any of my deputies, we're going to have a bad day".

In the 1970 case IL v. Allen, the justices unanimously decided that defendants do not have an absolute right to even be present at their trial, let alone speak at it.

Williams reportedly would not stop talking when Russo warned him to stop more than a dozen times over 30 minutes.

"He would have his time, as I did, I gave him an opportunity to speak when it was an appropriate time", Judge Russo said. "That's what I was trying to tell them", Williams said. Williams was granted an appeal after a court found he was misinformed about when he would be eligible for release.