Trials & Litigation

Judge is taken aback when defendant logs in to Zoom arraignment with obscene screen name

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A Michigan judge appeared miffed Tuesday when a man charged with possessing drug paraphernalia logged in to his virtual arraignment with the screen name “Buttf- - -er 3000.”

Judge Jeffrey Middleton of Centreville, Michigan, chastised the defendant, identified as Nathaniel Saxton by the Detroit News and Law & Crime, and Nathaniel Saxaon by Vice.

All three publications have the video.

“We’ll bring this fool in,” Middleton said before the defendant and the full screen name (with no asterisks) appeared in the video.

Middleton immediately asked the defendant for his name. The man gave his real name.

“Your name’s not Buttf- - -er 3000, you yo-ho, logging in to my court with that as your screen name,” Middleton said. “What kind of idiot logs in to court like that?”

“I don’t believe I typed anything like that in,” the defendant answered.

“Well, that’s what it says,” Middleton said.

The defendant apologized.

Middleton then informed the defendant that he was putting him in the waiting room.

“You can sit in limbo for a while and think about what you call yourself online,” Middleton said.

Even before the man was ousted from the online hearing, he had already changed his screen name. It appeared to read “Nathaniel Saxaon.”

When the defendant appeared on screen again, he said his sister had set up the Zoom account. The obscene name is his iPhone pairing name for his Bluetooth speaker, he said.

“It’s an inside joke; it’s not what you think. I am embarrassed. I’m sorry,” he said.

“Well, you should be, Middleton replied.

It’s not the first time that Middleton’s online hearings have made headlines.

In March, a suspicious prosecutor said she feared an assault victim at the online hearing was in the same home as the perpetrator. Police arrived during the hearing and arrested the defendant for violating a no-contact order.

That same month, a defendant who pleaded guilty to driving on a suspended license appeared for his sentencing hearing from inside a car, Above the Law reports. The man’s license was still suspended at the time.

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