Trials & Litigation

Convicted Teen Spits in Lawyer's Face; Pa. Judge Orders Him Bound & Gagged

Apparently feeling that he had little to lose, a 17-year-old convicted in February by a Pennsylvania jury of first-degree murder shouted expletives at a court hearing yesterday.

As James Canady spouted off—at one point calling the judge, the prosecutor and his own defense attorney “f—ing crackers”—Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart initially urged him to save his remarks for sentencing and then called him a disgrace. When Canady then spit in the face of his own lawyer, Lee Mandell, the judge ordered sheriff’s deputies to remove Canady from the court and bind and gag him before returning for the rest of the hearing, reports the Philadelphia Daily News.

Canady—who shouted “F— you!” at the judge before he was removed—returned after a break with gauze and padding in his mouth, secured with clear plastic tape wrapped around his head, the newspaper recounts.

Noting that Canady had expressed no remorse over for murdering an immigrant shop owner in 2007, when he himself was 15, Minehart sentenced him to a mandatory life prison term for the first-degree murder conviction. He also added a consecutive prison term of 22 to 45 years for additional convictions of robbery, conspiracy and possessing an instrument of crime.

At the hearing, Canady’s mother tearfully apologized to the victim’s family for their loss. Before he was bound and gagged, she had urged her son to stop speaking, the Daily News reports.

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