ARRAIGNMENT Woman proclaims innocence on threat charge
Campbell woman will undergo a competency exam and can have no contact with judge.
YOUNGSTOWN -- When you are accused of threatening a judge, the wheels of justice roll quickly.
A Mahoning County grand jury indicted Nora K. Anthony of Campbell on a charge of retaliation Thursday just hours after her arraignment on the charge in Youngstown Municipal Court.
At her arraignment, Anthony told Judge Robert Milich she was innocent of threatening to "take out" Judge Maureen A. Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Judge Milich set Anthony's bond at $250,000 and ordered her to undergo a competency examination and to have no contact with Judge Sweeney.
Anthony, 56, of Coitsville Road, Campbell, is charged with retaliation, a third-degree felony that carries a penalty of one to five years in prison upon conviction. The charge states she threatened to retaliate by force against a public servant involved in a civil or criminal case, in this instance Judge Sweeney.
The report said the woman repeatedly threatened to drive a white truck to the county courthouse and take out Judge Sweeney. The threat was heard Wednesday by an employee in the common pleas court's assignment office, Judge Maureen A. Cronin of common pleas court and Deputy Sgt. Leonard Sliwinski.
Atty. Kathleen Thompson, who represented Anthony only for her arraignment, told Judge Milich that Anthony understood the charge and that a competency test was justified.
Anthony said the charge "was a lie."
Thompson also asked for a reasonable bond so Anthony could be released from jail. But Dana Guarnieri, an assistant city prosecutor, told Judge Milich a high bond should be set because of Anthony's threat and that there "could be harm done to the judge" if she were released.
Guarnieri said Anthony has a conviction out of Mahoning County Court, Boardman, on a charge of disorderly conduct in January 2004 and was placed on probation. Guarnieri added that Anthony has multiple misdemeanor traffic offenses and has failed to appear at any of them.
Anthony said that also was a lie. She told Judge Milich that Guarnieri had distorted the truth and that she will hire a lawyer.
Court records show that a threat was made Wednesday morning when someone -- police say it was Anthony -- called the assignment office to check on the status of a civil case she has pending in common pleas court.
The caller wanted to know whether Judge Sweeney was related to a professor at Youngstown State University also named Sweeney. The caller apparently had a disagreement with the professor when she attended YSU in the 1970s.
She also had called the judge's secretary, who told her there was no relationship, but the caller insisted there would be a conflict of interest if Judge Sweeney heard her case.
The woman called the assignment office twice Wednesday making the threats. The second time, the remarks were heard by Judge Cronin and Sliwinski.
Sliwinski and Deputy Ed Mitchell arrested Anthony at her Campbell home Wednesday afternoon.