NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Offbeat

September 2, 2009

Ohio judge silences defendant with duct tape

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio judge unhappy with repeated interruptions from a robbery suspect ordered a deputy to put duct tape over the defendant's mouth.

Canton Municipal Court Judge Stephen Belden says the taping last Thursday was the best way to restore order at a hearing for 51-year-old Harry Brown of Canton.

Brown complained that his court-appointed attorney wasn't prepared and angered the judge with interruptions. After a warning, the judge told the bailiff to tape Brown's mouth shut.

When the tape was removed, the defendant said the judge wasn't being respectful. The judge ended the hearing and sent the case to a grand jury.

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