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

An Ohio judge fed up with interruptions ordered a convicted robber's mouth to be taped shut in court on Tuesday.

Williams kept talking, even as his attorney stood to speak to the court.

Despite warnings from Judge John Russo, Williams continued to speak over the judge and his attorneys, according to the video.

His trial began late a year ago, but hit a snag when he cut his ankle bracelet.

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

"Mr Williams, I'm the judge in the matter".

Williams said he's angry his lawyer didn't do more to speak up for him.

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

The defendant in the case, Franklyn Williams, is speaking out about the incident.

Williams, 32, was being sentenced for armed robbery at the time and talked nearly continuously during the hearing.

An armed robber had his mouth taped shut during his sentencing at a United States court in an incident slammed as "humiliating" and "wrong", by a civil liberties organisation. "Don't talk. Mr. Williams, it would be very simple to gag you".

One of the deputies places a strip of red tape around Williams' mouth. "This judge should be disbarred", said a third commenter. But we can't do it at the same time or yelling over each other. He added that it was perfectly legal for a sheriff's deputy to gag a defendant. He had previously been sentenced to 14 years after pleading guilty, but later won an appeal because he had been misinformed about when he would be eligible for early release from prison.

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

The ACLU of OH did not immediately respond to a request from McClatchy for comment on Williams' case.

"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", Jude Russo warns.

  • Joey Payne