Ohio Judge Orders Bailiffs to Tape Defendant's Mouth Shut During Sentencing

Nathan Dimoff

An Ohio judge silenced a man in court by asking the sheriffs to gag him twice and is now coming under scrutiny online.

An Ohio judge ordered deputies to tape a defendant's mouth shut during his sentencing this week to keep him from complaining about his attorney.

Cuyahoga County Judge John Russo had deputies gag Franklyn Williams, 32, by putting tape over his mouth 30 minutes into the hearing.

Judge Russo said that he was forced to take extreme measures after asking Williams to stop talking over a dozen times.

"Mr. Williams, I'm the judge in the matter, shut your mouth and I will tell you when you can talk," Judge Russo said according to WTKR.

After interrupting the judge and his own attorneys repetitively, the judge orders the deputies to gag Williams. The judge ordered deputies to place another strip of tape several minutes later after Williams continued to speak through the first strip of tape.

According to Fox8:

“Everybody has the right to go on the record with my court reporter. But we can’t do it at the same time or yelling over each other. My intent was never to silence Mr. Williams,” said Judge Russo.

This is Williams second trial in a case where he pleaded guilty. The courts convicted Williams on counts of aggravated robbery, kidnapping, misuse of credit cards and possessing weapons under a disability.

Williams was sentenced to up to 14 years in prison but was released after a court found that Williams was misinformed about when he would be eligible for release.

One of the conditions of the release was that he had to wear a ankle bracelet but soon after release, Williams broke the ankle bracelet and chose to flee to Nebraska, claiming he was hit on the head and could not remember anything.

Judge Russo believes that it is okay to gag someone in court and he is not the only one.


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