MAHONING COUNTY Judge intervenes in courtroom dispute
The judge plans to have a county agency investigate the family situation.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Tatiana Hammond came to the Mahoning County Courthouse to show support for a friend.
By the time Thursday afternoon ended, however, she was nearly jailed and a judge plans to have the county's Children Services Board look into her family situation.
Hammond, 22, of Roslyn Avenue, got into a shouting match with another woman at a suppression-of-evidence hearing in the courtroom of Judge Jack Durkin involving three men accused of killing James Revere, 16, in November 2003.
Anthony Meranto, lawyer for Glen Scott, 21, said the hearing was to suppress the identification of Stephan Breedlove, 20, of Youngstown by a state's witness. The other man charged in the shooting is Keon Richardson, 20, also of Youngstown. All are charged with aggravated murder.
Even before the hearing started, Hammond and Jeannette Scott, mother of Glen Scott, began yelling at each other.
Deputies escorted the women outside the courtroom, but the yelling escalated and could be heard throughout the courthouse. Hammond then tried to run away but was caught by the deputies.
Judge Maureen Cronin had the deputies bring Hammond to her courtroom to explain what happened.
Hammond told the court she had come to the hearing to support Revere's mother. She said she and Revere were close friends. The mother never showed up, however, so Hammond found herself the sole supporter of the victim in the courtroom.
Hammond said Scott began calling her names and "getting smart with me," and the argument escalated into the shouting match.
Deputy Don Belosic Jr. told the judge he took Hammond out of the courtroom because there were at least 14 people in there supporting the defendants. He confirmed Scott and others started the dispute.
The judge then asked Hammond how many children she had. Hammond said four: two school-age children, one 3-year-old and a 2-year-old.
Judge Cronin said Hammond's responsibility was to be with her children instead of coming to court and causing a scene.
Further examination by the judge showed that Hammond's children were sometimes staying with her, Hammond's cousin or with the children's grandmother.
Even though Hammond worked at a fast-food restaurant, welfare checks were being sent to the children's grandmother's home on Griffith Street.
Judge Cronin said she would call CSB to have them investigate Hammond and check on the children's care.
Hammond asked the judge why she was coming down so hard on her and not Scott.
The judge said Hammond was the one who got caught running away, "and the first one caught" has to answer for the commotion.
"You disrupted my court," Judge Cronin said. "You are forgetting who you are. You're a mother. You should have been home with those two little ones." She added Scott had a right to be in court because her son was a defendant.
The judge released Hammond, but left her with this warning: "If I see you in the hallways again, you are going to jail."