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Ohio judge orders man’s mouth taped shut during sentencing

Posted at 10:59 PM, Jul 31, 2018

CLEVELAND – A judge ordered a convicted robber's mouth taped shut during his sentencing in Cleveland court Tuesday.

During the sentencing for 32-year-old Franklyn Williams, convicted for three armed robberies, Judge John Russo ordered him to be silent multiple times.

Video shot inside the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court shows Williams apparently complaining about his attorneys before Judge Russo replies, "Mr. Williams, I'm the judge in the matter, shut your mouth and I will tell you when you can talk."

After Williams continued to speak out, interrupting the judge and even his own attorneys, Judge Russo ordered officers to shut his mouth with tape.

Six deputies stood around Williams as one applied the red tape. When Williams continued to speak, the judge instructed deputies to put another piece of tape over his mouth.

Eventually, Judge Russo sentenced Williams to 24 years in prison.

In December, Williams was convicted on counts of aggravated robbery, kidnapping, theft, misuse of credit cards and having weapons under a disability, according to court documents.

His trial began late last year, but hit a snag when he cut his ankle bracelet.

Williams fled to Nebraska, where he claimed he was hit over the head and lost his memory. In court on Tuesday, prosecutors played Williams' phone calls with family to prove he remembered. They also found information on his phone that indicated he researched how to beat criminal charges.

This is his second trial in the case. The first time, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to up to 14 years in prison. Williams was granted an appeal after a court found he was misinformed about when he would be eligible for release.