OH judge orders man's mouth taped shut during sentencing

Judge John Russo. Pic Fox News

Image Judge John Russo said the move was necessary to maintain decorum. Pic Fox News

A frustrated OH judge ordered police officers to gag the mouth of a convicted man with tape after warning him 12 times, to no avail, to stop interrupting. Williams was later sentenced to 24 years in prison on counts of aggravated robbery, kidnapping, theft, misuse of credit cards and having weapons under a disability.

After about a dozen warnings, Russo grew exhausted of the back-and-forth with Williams.

Video of the incident shows Williams surrounded by police as one applies a thick piece of red duct tape over his mouth.

According to Metro News, Williams continued to protest, saying: 'But you're not letting me tell you what's going on.

The American Civil Liberties Union lambasted the decision to tape Williams' mouth. Cleveland.com reports Williams was originally handed a 14-year sentence on robbery charges in 2016 but was granted an appeal and a second trial. Authorities said he cut his ankle bracelet after proceedings began.

Six sheriff's deputies walk up to Williams and as Williams tries to get up, one of the officers is shown forcing him back down.

Later, the judge says he will hear from the lawyers and tells Williams to "zip it".

Russo says he had the right to order this, something Williams clearly never expected.

Russo said in court that he had a right to order the gag placed on Williams.

"I'm the judge in the matter", Judge John Russo eventually told him. "I'm going to tape it, and I'll unzip it when I want you to talk". I don't even remember me going to a trial.

Some on social media weren't so sure, and said they felt it was wrong.

Williams reportedly would not stop talking when Russo warned him to stop more than a dozen times over 30 minutes.

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.

In any other circumstance, Williams would be held in contempt of court.

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