By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.
VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN — A city woman who could have been released from jail upon payment of $150 will now spend 30 days behind bars and face additional criminal charges after a confrontation with the judge and jailers.
Karen Peeples, 56, of Stewart Street, appeared before Judge Robert Douglas in Youngstown Municipal Court via video Friday for arraignment on charges of criminal trespass and assault. The court appearance turned out to be anything but routine.
Prosecutors told the court Peeples has a criminal history that includes theft, assault, resisting arrest, aggravated menacing and disorderly conduct.
Judge Douglas issued a $1,500 bond, which would allow Peeples to pay $150 and be released from jail. The judge also told Peeples she would be placed on monitored house arrest and is to have no contact with a woman who filed a criminal complaint against her.
That’s when Peeples had a change of attitude.
She unleashed a barrage of obscenities directed at the complaining family member, Judge Douglas, the court and virtually anyone else who would listen.
She ultimately resorted to calling the judge “an Uncle Tom” followed by more curse words, leading Judge Douglas to tell her she would be held in contempt of court.
Peeples told the judge she did not care about being held in contempt — then threatened to punch a jail guard, who could not be seen on camera, and beat other people in the video-arraignment room. Peeples could be heard scuffling with prison guards off camera before being taken out of the arraignment area.
Judge Douglas ordered Peeples held in the county jail for 30 days for disrupting the courtroom. She also will face additional charges including contempt of court.
Peeples was initially in court because she had been arrested Wednesday evening after officers were called to a home in the 2600 block of Eddie Street. A woman living at the home told police Peeples refused to leave and was causing a disturbance.
Police arrested Peeples on the criminal-trespass charge, but as she was being led to a police car, Peeples spit in the face of the complaining family member and also was charged with assault.