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

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

Fox 8 reports Franklyn Williams was silenced Tuesday (July 31) when deputies placed red tape around his mouth.

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

"So, when they put the tape over my mouth, I just felt so humiliated", Williams said after the incident.

During his trial, he allegedly cut off his ankle bracelet and slipped away to Nebraska before being rearrested, the site reported.

When Williams continued to defy the judge's orders, Russo ordered his mouth to be taped shut. "Zip it until I give you a chance to talk". A judge then had a deputy place another piece of tape on Williams' mouth.

This is Williams's second trial for the same case.

But the thief, who was convicted for three armed robberies, wouldn't pipe down.

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Russo defended his decision to tape Williams's mouth shut, saying that he meant to maintain control over his court. Russo eventually issued the order that Williams' mouth be taped shut.

"Does the comment "quit talking" - do you understand that?"

The 32-year-old complained about authorities removing his possessions from his cell, and only meeting his attorney "the other day" - complaints Judge Russo said were raised at the wrong time. In the first trial, he pleaded guilty and received a 14-year prison sentence.

In December, Williams was convicted of aggravated robbery, kidnapping, theft, misuse of credit cards and other charges, according to court documents. "This judge should be disbarred", said a third commenter.

Russo claimed his actions were legal, with a few cases supporting the notion. The Miami Herald noted the 1970 case IL v. Allen, where it was ruled that defendants do not have the right to be present at their trials.

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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