Video shows Judge John Russo ordering for Franklyn Williams’ mouth to be taped shut during his sentencing
The video went viral after Nikki Wright-Rudolph uploaded it to his Facebook on Tuesday
Russo claimed Williams had disrupted the court for thirty mins prior to ordering his mouth taped shut
Williams was convicted for counts of aggravated robbery, kidnapping, theft, misuse of credit cards and having weapons under a disability
Last year Williams cut off his ankle bracelet and fled to Omaha, Nebraska during his trial
A viral video on Facebook shows the moment a judge ordered for a man’s mouth to be taped shut in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday during sentencing.
Judge John Russo ordered 32-year-old Franklyn Williams’ mouth to be taped shut after he continued to be disruptive during his sentencing. Russo explained to FOX8 that Williams continuously interrupted court proceedings prior to the order.
I will say knowing Mr. Williams due to my handling of his four cases, Mr. Williams was someone who liked to speak. To speak and interrupt. When lawyers were talking, witnesses were talking. More importantly when I was talking.
Russo claimed he gave Williams over a dozen chances to stop disturbing the court over a period of thirty minutes. Williams did not stop interrupting and even went as far as to interrupt his own attorney. Russo claims he was forced to take such drastic measures to keep order in the court.
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.
According to court documents, Williams was convicted on counts of aggravated robbery, kidnapping, theft, misuse of credit cards and having weapons under a disability, in December. His trial began late last year but was abruptly stopped after Williams cut off his ankle bracelet and fled to Omaha, Nebraska.
The video went viral after Nikki Wright-Rudolph uploaded it to his Facebook on Tuesday. The video received over 325,000 views and shared over 11,000 times by angry social media users.
Many on social media are not aware of Williams’ charges, or his disruptive behavior for the 30 minutes prior to the tape being placed over his mouth. Some say his disruptive behavior is no excuse to place not just one, but two pieces of tape over Williams’ mouth. Williams continued to talk after the first piece of tape was placed over his mouth, so court deputies put the second piece of tape over his mouth.
Russo stated it was within the court’s legal rights to gag a defendant if they are in contempt of court.