Judge helped tackle defendant who resisted courtroom cuffing; see the video
A Michigan judge won’t be deciding any matters concerning an unruly stalking defendant after rushing from the bench to help tackle him.
Judge John McBain of Jackson County took off his robe and rushed to help a deputized law clerk trying to handcuff defendant Jacob Larson, MLive.com reports. The Washington Post and Above the Law picked up the story.
“Tase his ass right now,” McBain shouted to the clerk as he rushed to help.
The video is from a December hearing, but MLive.com didn’t publish it until Oct. 13.
The hearing concerned allegations that Larson had violated a protective order by sending 22 Facebook messages to a high school classmate.
Larson protested that the woman was “instigating it” by posting pictures of herself wearing makeup and with her “hair done and all that stuff, the full nine.” Larson said the woman, rather than the judge, should tell him to quit.
“You know what?” McBain replied. “I told you to leave her alone. And apparently that didn’t get through loud and clear. So today, you’re going to jail for three days.”
As Larson talked back, McBain kept increasing the sentence until it reached 93 days in jail. At that point, McBain ordered the law clerk to arrest Larson. McBain intervened when Larson resisted the cuffing.
“There is one thing I don’t tolerate is disruptions in my courtroom,” McBain told MLive.com.
Chief Circuit Judge Thomas Wilson told MLive.com that McBain was allowed to intervene. “A judge has the power to take whatever action is necessary to maintain order in the courtroom,” he said.
It’s not the first time McBain has been in the news. The Michigan Supreme Court overturned a second-degree murder conviction in July 2015 because McBain went too far with his “aggressive, undermining” cross-examination of defense witnesses.
In 2011, McBain ordered a criminal defense lawyer jailed over lunch hour for refusing to comply with instructions to sit down.
The Washington Post points to another incident in 2014 in which McBain told a convicted murderer he hoped she died in prison, and she would have gotten “the chair” if the death penalty were legal in Michigan. MLive.com had the story.