Friday, March 28, 2014

Out of the Mouths Defendants...

     As a courtroom observer, there are times I think I've seen and heard it all. But then a defendant comes along and totally destroys that notion by spouting something shocking or humorous that makes my jaw drop or has me smiling with everyone else in the courtroom.
     On any given day there are numerous memorable comments made by defendants. Here are some recent utterances overheard by 'Mr. Everybody's Business' in a Montgomery County courtroom:

Montgomery County Courthouse
                                      Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.
      In court for baring it all while trespassing at a male acquaintance's home, a Narberth woman revealed the naked truth about her conduct.   
    “He didn’t know I was coming over. I was naked after he was like, 'you can’t be here.' It was a tactic,” the 43-year-old trespasser nonchalantly told Judge Steven T. O’Neill, explaining why she stripped naked when a Lower Merion man with whom she claimed to have been “involved” ordered her from his home last September. “I’m sure you’ve witnessed one or two in your lifetime.”
   “No, I haven’t. No, I haven’t,” the judge quickly responded to the woman's unexpected, off-the-cuff remark, which elicited giggles from some courtroom observers.

   The woman, who was sentenced to five years’ probation after she pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal trespass, also pleaded guilty to a stalking charge in connection with allegations she harassed another man, a former employer, by repeatedly calling his business, personal and home phone numbers in March 2013. The judge ordered the woman to have no contact with the victims.
   After the judge wished her “good luck,” the woman revealed she hoped her next appearance before a judge was for more romantic reasons.
   “Next time I’m in front of a judge, I hope I’m getting married,” the woman uttered to everyone's surprise.

   “It’s a good idea, as long as it’s not (the victims),” O’Neill said.
   “Just not a guy that I stalked,” the woman retorted.


     In January, a Pottstown man tried to strike up a conversation with sheriff's deputies who were guarding him as he waited for his domestic violence trial to resume before Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy. The defendant, obviously bored by a series of courtroom delays, wondered how deputies deal with the downtime associated with the sometimes slow pursuit of justice and then uttered, "I guess slow money is better than no money."
     The man, who was eventually convicted of assaulting his girlfriend, also told one deputy, "I wish I was a sheriff."
     Not likely, I would think, since he was convicted of that domestic assault.


     In February, a 25-year-old Whitpain man showed up in court to be sentenced for conspiring to purchase nearly two pounds of marijuana from another man on a parking lot of a Trappe shopping center in 2012.
     When Judge Steven T. O'Neill asked the man when he last "smoked weed," the man didn't hesitate in responding, "probably like a week ago." You could have heard a pin drop in the courtroom as spectators must  have wondered to themselves, "Did he just say that to a judge?"
     The judge expressed incredulity that the man would engage in drug use knowing that in just days he was to appear in court.

     Stay tuned. I'll let you know when the next defendant makes a memorable remark.

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