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A spit personality:Inmate wears bag



Published: Fri, August 2, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Authorities say the man spit on a prison guard.

YOUNGSTOWN -- The netting around Anthony Pace's head Thursday wasn't to keep mosquitoes away. It was to keep him from spitting on people.

Pace, 37, of Columbus, is an inmate at the maximum-security Ohio State Penitentiary on the city's East Side. He's serving seven to 25 years for a rape conviction, for which he's been in prison since 1983.

He was indicted by a Mahoning County grand jury in December 2000 on a harassment charge. Prosecutors say he spit on a prison guard.

There for trial

Pace was supposed to go to trial Thursday in the courtroom of Judge Maureen A. Cronin. The courtroom was filled with officers from the prison who were sent to guard Pace.

His head was covered with a mesh bag, which deputies called a "spit bag." It's used on inmates who pose a risk of spitting on people, deputies said.

The trial was postponed because of evidence received at the last minute by the county prosecutor's office from prison staff.

Court's rules

Local court rules require that defense attorneys be given copies of all evidence prosecutors have before trial so they can study it and plan their defense.

Because defense attorney Louis DeFabio had not seen the new evidence, the trial was continued so he could have time to evaluate it. The trial was reset for September.

It's the second time Pace has wound up in common pleas court for a disturbance at the prison.

In August 2000, he was indicted on a vandalism charge for breaking a window. He pleaded guilty to that charge and was sentenced to another year in prison.

DeFabio said Pace won't plead guilty this time because he insists he is innocent.




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