Judge Orders Officers To Tape Man’s Mouth Shut During Sentencing

Credit FOX8

Credit FOX8

Cuyahoga County judge orders deputies to cover convicted robber's mouth shut during sentencing because of multiple outbursts.

An Ohio judge has faced backlash for enforcing an unsettling way to restrain a man in court.

Franklyn Williams was convicted of three armed robberies during his trial, but he reportedly had a lot to say about the matter as Judge John Russo tried to speak.

'If we have to, I will gag you in one second'.

The defendant refused to stop talking.

Eventually the judge ordered Williams' mouth to be taped, adding: "I'll unzip it when I want you to talk".

Williams ignores the threats and carries on speaking, which is when Judge Russo orders for him to be gagged.

"I will say knowing Mr. Williams due to my handling of his four cases, Mr. Williams was someone who liked to speak". Russo warned him more than a dozen times over a course of about a half hour, according to Fox 8's video footage.

Williams was convicted in December on counts of aggravated robbery, kidnapping, theft, misuse of credit cards and having weapons under a disability.

A group of six deputies surrounded Williams before they covered his mouth with red duct tape.

Cleveland's Fox 8 News recorded the sentencing hearing and posted a video of it online.

"It is what it is", Williams mumbled through the tape.

"Here you go", the exasperated judge finally said. 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. Judges were allowed to "bind and gag him as a last resort, thereby keeping him present; (2) cite him for criminal or civil contempt; or (3) remove him from the courtroom, while the trial continues, until he promises to conduct himself properly", if a defendant was unruly in the courtroom.

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