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

A judge ordered a convicted robber's mouth taped shut during his sentencing in Cleveland court Tuesday.

Franklyn Williams, 32, was charged with a slew of crimes, including aggravated robbery, theft, kidnapping, misuse of credit cards, and unlawful possession of a weapon.

According to the Daily Mail, Williams spoke over the judge and ignored multiple warnings to remain quiet.

Williams continued to complain, claiming the judge was not letting him tell his side of the story.

Video of the incident shows Williams surrounded by police as one applies a thick piece of red duct tape over his mouth.

Williams replies, "But you're not letting me tell you what's going on". The judge then ordered the deputies to place another piece of tape over his mouth so the court proceedings could continue without a hitch.

Williams was ultimately sentenced to 24 years in prison. He had cut off his ankle monitoring bracelet and skipped town in the middle of his December trial. "You got it?" the judge said.

'Mr Williams, I am the judge in the matter. "Don't talk. Mr. Williams, it would be very simple to gag you". "Just zip it, you will get a chance to talk, I'm going to give you a chance to talk". "More importantly when I was talking", Russo said. I don't even remember me going to a trial.

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

Russo later defended his order, telling Fox8 he knew Williams was "someone who liked to speak", and that he gave him more than a dozen warnings to stop talking.

Some on social media weren't so sure, and said they felt it was wrong. Williams was granted an appeal after a court found he was misinformed about when he would be eligible for release.

The ACLU of Idaho at the time declined to comment on specifics, but said "on one hand judges have a right to keep order in their court and on the other the defendants have a right to assist in their own defense and be present at trial".


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