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Judge Kobly’s sticky order: Tape defendant’s mouth



Published: Wed, January 12, 2011 @ 12:09 a.m.

photo

Duniek Christian

ACLU advocates alternatives

By John W. Goodwin Jr.

jgoodwin@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A Youngstown man’s unruly behavior in court has earned him several months in Mahoning County jail — and an order to have duct tape placed over his mouth before he returns to court.

A county grand jury has indicted Duniek Christian, 26, of North Garland Avenue, on charges of failure to comply with the order of a police officer, felonious assault and aggravated robbery. Several misdemeanor charges are pending in Youngstown Municipal Court.

Christian was before Judge Elizabeth Kobly of Youngstown Municipal Court last Friday for trial on misdemeanor charges of obstructing official business and a traffic offense when he reportedly began acting disorderly in the court.

Judge Kobly found Christian in contempt of court and sentenced him to 30 days in jail for each time he was considered disorderly or disrespectful to the court. By the time the judge had him removed from the court, Christian had been sentenced to 230 days in jail for contempt.

Judge Kobly, according to police reports, also issued an order stating that Christian not return to court until his mouth was duct taped shut.

Judge Kobly on Tuesday said she could not talk about the Christian case or the duct tape order because the charges against Christian are still pending in her court.

He is due back before Judge Kobly on Jan. 28. He also is due to appear before Judge Robert Douglas of Youngstown Municipal Court on the felony charges Feb. 14.

James Hardiman, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union Ohio, said the judge’s decision to order Christian’s mouth taped is part of a delicate balance between order in the court and the defendant’s rights, but the ACLU would rather see other means used to maintain order.

“It has been our experience that anytime a person is in a hearing, there are competing interests. On one hand, the person is entitled to a fair and impartial trial. On the other hand, the judge has the right to maintain order and decorum in her courtroom,” he said.

Hardiman said methods of restraint would be more appropriate on a case-by-case basis for each court appearance. If the defendant, he said, does not behave in any given appearance, then measures of control should be used for that appearance.

Still, Hardiman said the ACLU would rather see other means explored such as having Christian take part in the trial via closed-circuit television if he cannot behave himself in the court.

“This [duct taping] would seem inappropriate if the court has not explored alternative methods,” he added.

Police reports say Christian’s disruptive behavior continued after he was removed from the courtroom. Reports say he was verbally abusive to officers, resisted physically and threatened to beat one officer if he were released from his handcuffs.

Police reports say Christian scuffled with officers near the elevators in the courthouse and had to be physically restrained and rolled onto an elevator to be taken back to county jail.

Christian complained of injuries from the scuffle with officers, and the matter was referred to internal affairs in the Youngstown Police Department.

Christian was arrested in early November after leading police on a chase through the East Side while driving a stolen car. He had been wanted on warrants over a 2005 gunbattle with police that led to the felonious-assault charges pending against him.

Christian, in 2005, was accused of driving a stolen car with three other men in it through the East Side while they shot at seven police officers.

Police had been searching for Christian since May and got word that he was back in the area.

The chase began in the early morning of Nov. 10 when police had Christian and two other men under surveillance while they were parked in a driveway on Northwood Avenue.

According to police reports, when police started closing in on them, Christian drove through a wooden fence onto Karl Street. He drove to Myron Avenue, where he and the others got out of the car and fled into the woods. They were apprehended a short time later.

Christian already was tried once in the 2005 case in August 2008, but was released after the jury deadlocked on whether he was guilty of complicity to felonious assault.

The county prosecutor’s office appealed the decision of Judge James C. Evans of common pleas court that Christian could not be tried again after the deadlock.

The 7th District Court of Appeals ruled Judge Evans erred and the case could be retried. In March 2010, the Ohio Supreme Court refused to review an appeal by Christian, leaving the appellate court’s ruling intact. The prosecutor’s office was then free to retry the case.


Comments

1oldmillspice(160 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Typical SNB

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2Photoman(1005 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

This guy is exhibiting all many of the signs which will lead him to life in prison--but only after he takes a life or two. I would suggest that, if he ever goes on parole, he be paroled to the ACLU and that they be held responsible for his actions during the time spent with them.

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3NoBS(1959 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

I like Photoman's idea - there are too many decisions made by people who cannot be held responsible for actions that take place as a result of those decisions. If the ACLU had to be responsible for the actions of people like this guy, they might not be so far out into the lunatic fringe.

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4bebop57(4 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

I can only imagine what Duniek was saying. But he is mad, frustrated and upset about what they are trying to do with him and what his so called friends are trying to do as well to him.How can you find someone not guilty and then say Oh the Judge messed up by letting you go so actually what they are saying that Judge Evans didn't no how to do his job and when he said that Duniek couldn't be tried again he lied ! If he messed up that bad then he need to go and redo his whatever test he had to get to become a judge because he is playing with people lives. Now they say that he has to go through that again and in front of the same judge !!! That's crazy they have the ones who were shooting, they have the one who stole the car. There was no conspiracy it was not something that they sit down and planned it was something that just happened at that moment and at that time. But all these other little cases are misdamators . But I don't no how she think she can order someone to put duck tape on anybody mouth. Where is that in the law books ? I know he got a mouth on him we all do at one time or another. But that wasn't the place or time for that...like I said I can only imagine what he said !!! It's easy for some people to sit back in comment on things that they don't no nothing about . All they no is what they read in the newspapers and they don't always print it right.all the times. It's so easy to get yourself into trouble just by being with the wrong person at the wrong time. Non of us in this world is perfect, NON OF US !!! Not me and not you and not the judges non us us... And we ALL have sin one time or another some are still sinning. When you get mad and you get frustrated you will lash out and you will say things that you didn't mean to say .. we all do it all of us! And we be sorry latter on..well some of us do ! Don't judge someone by what you hear make sure you have all the facts first ! Cause you never no one day you might be standing in front of the judge all frusrated and mad !!!! I put Duniek and God's hands so what ever God will is for him then Lord let your will be done .But for what ever he said to the judge in who ever else I will say I am sorry for all the disrespect that he showed on this day. And I will ask God first of all to forgive him and then to the Judge and whoever else. But you no what I love Duniek Christian inspite of all the wrongs that he has done , But God loves him so much more now you all have a Blessed and stress free day ! Cause I am !!!

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5southsidedave(4784 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Great idea Judge! Now send the dirtbag to prison for awhile and let him run his mouth in there and see what happens!

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6mrblue(999 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

If the judge sees fit to use duct tape to keep order-------then so be it. If she decides on closed-circuit TV-----then so be it. It is after all, her court room.

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7Lifes2Short(3877 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

"James Hardiman, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union Ohio, said the judge’s decision to order Christian’s mouth taped is part of a delicate balance between order in the court and the defendant’s rights, but the ACLU would rather see other means used to maintain order."

The ACLU needs to change there thinking and maybe push the idea, "Be RESPONSIBLE for your OWN actions", some concept, huh?

"....and an order to have duct tape placed over his mouth before he returns to court."

If that is what it takes to show some respect in a court, then so be it. Instead of pacifying these people, maybe do more things like this. If you can't act civil in court then where could you?

"Christian complained of injuries from the scuffle with officers, and the matter was referred to internal affairs in the Youngstown Police Department."

Oh poor baby, maybe next time, don't scuffle with the officers. If he was on the streets in a scuffle he wouldn't complain about injuries.

bebop

"But he is mad, frustrated and upset about what they are trying to do with him and what his so called friends are trying to do as well to him"

What there trying to do with him? He needs some accountability on his own actions, don't you think?

"...charges of failure to comply with the order of a police officer, felonious assault and aggravated robbery."
"....was arrested in early November after leading police on a chase through the East Side while driving a stolen car."
"...wanted on warrants over a 2005 gunbattle with police"
"....while they shot at seven police officers."
"...got out of the car and fled into the woods."

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8BDMKKP(1 comment)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

OH HAPPY DAY IT'S ABOUT TIME WE START TO TAKE CONTROL. NO MORE SNB IN MUNI.

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9Jerry(500 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

The American Criminal Liberties Union lost any and all credibility it ever had years ago. Why would anyone care what it has to say on any subject now??

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10Traveler(606 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

The ACLU was originally formed to help us citizens threatened with criminal charges by the us government for communist activities and to a lessor degree help illegal aliens threatened with deportation.

With the end of the McCarthy era the ACLU had to find more and more crazy and radical ideas to support to keep its self noticed and receiving donation leaving us with the group we have today.

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11bebop57(4 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

First I wnat to say I am so very, very sorry for the disrespect that Duniek have display in front of the Judge in to the court and to everyone else. Like I said I can only imagine what he said. He really wasn't raised like that. And I wasn't making excuses for him when I said what I said. he already no he is going to do time... Look I am sorry for his outburst and for what ever he might have said.That was truly not right at all. But really if she place tape on his mouth how can he answer her question ?

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12bebop57(4 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Lord Jesus forgive him !!!! Forgive Duniek .....

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