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Judge Orders Defendant’s Mouth Taped Shut When He Won’t Stop Talking During Sentencing

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On Tuesday, Franklyn Williams, a defendant in a criminal case, repeatedly ignored warnings from the judge to quit interrupting the proceedings. Williams, 32, was convicted of kidnapping, aggravated robbery, misuse of credit cards, theft, and having weapons under a disability, and refused to quit talking during his sentencing, leading the judge to take action.

The incident took place in Cuyahoga County in Ohio, according to a report by Fox News. County Judge John Russo repeatedly warned Williams to stop interrupting the proceedings, but Williams ignored the orders and continued to speak out.

“At this point, I’m going to hear from your lawyers, and that means zip it,” said Russo during the sentencing hearing. “That means zip it right now. Does that make sense?”

“No, it doesn’t,” Williams replied.

Russo claims he provided Williams with more than a dozen warnings to stay quiet, but Williams refused.

When Russo became frustrated with Williams’ frequent interruptions, which took place over the course of about 30 minutes, and he ordered the defendant’s mouth to be taped shut.

Six deputies executed the judge’s orders, placing a red piece of tape over the Williams’ mouth in an attempt to prevent him from speaking during his sentencing.

However, Williams still made attempts to chime in even after the tape was in place.

Russo later stated that he had no choice but to take action. He was attempting to facilitate a clear court record and also maintain courtroom decorum.

Previously, Williams attempted to evade his trial. He cut off his ankle bracelet, which was in place during his house arrest, and ran to Nebraska.

Williams claimed he did not remember his escape, blaming a blow to the head.

Prosecutors had cell phone records as evidence that Williams was not being honest about his escape.

Ultimately, Williams was sentenced to 24 years in prison for the range of convictions.