Saturday, 19 October, 2019

Ohio judge orders defendant's mouth taped shut for sentencing

Cuyahoga County Judge John Russo ordered bailiffs to tape Franklyn Williams&rsquo mouth shut during his sentencing hearing Fox 8 News Cuyahoga County Judge John Russo ordered bailiffs to tape Franklyn Williams’ mouth shut during his sentencing hearing
Patty Aguilar | 03 August, 2018, 05:04

Video shot inside the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court shows Williams apparently complaining about his attorneys before Judge Russo replies, "Mr. Williams, I'm the judge in the matter, shut your mouth and I will tell you when you can talk".

Franklyn Williams, 32, was humiliatingly gagged with red duct tape after Judge John Russo became frustrated at his inability to stay quiet during his sentencing on Tuesday (31 July). Williams "would not stop talking, despite more than a dozen warnings over the course of about 30 minutes".

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.

The American Civil Liberties Union lambasted the decision to tape Williams' mouth.

Six officers surround Williams with one issuing a threat before putting the tape on his mouth.

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But Williams continued to protest, saying: 'But youre not letting me tell you what's going on. A judge then had a deputy place another piece of tape on Williams' mouth.

Williams was eventually sentenced to 24 years in prison for agravated robbery, kidnapping, theft, misuse of credit cards and having weapons under a disability. In the first trial, he pleaded guilty and received a 14-year prison sentence.

But Williams absconded during the December trial, cutting off the electronic tag monitor on his leg and fleeing to Nebraska from where he had to be extradited. "But we can't do it at the same time or yelling over each other", he said.

"I will say knowing Mr. Williams due to my handling of his four cases, Mr. Williams was someone who liked to speak".

Some have queried whether gagging the defendant was allowed in court, but Russo claims it was completely legal for him to gag the defendant and found previous cases to support his actions.

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