Trials & Litigation

Pro se defendant held in contempt and gets 180 days for refusing to approach bench at trial

Defending himself at a suburban Chicago jury trial earlier this month on charges related to his alleged cultivation of 19 marijuana plants at home did not turn out well for Scott Hochstetter.

When the 32-year-old refused to identify himself on July 15 and declined to approach the bench, as instructed, Judge Clint Hull held him in criminal contempt in the Kane County case and sentenced him to 180 days, reports the Daily Herald. With good behavior, the sentence could be halved.

Hochstetter was also charged with aggravated battery to a peace officer after, a sheriff’s report said, he scuffled with court officers as they handcuffed him.

“The conduct of the contemnor, which occurred in the presence of the court while the court was in open session, impeded and interrupted the court’s proceedings, lessened the dignity of the court, and tended to bring the administration of justice into disrepute,” said the judge in a written order.

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