This is the dramatic moment juvenile judge Tracie Hunter was roughly hauled from a US court to begin a six-month prison sentence.
JULY 23, 2019
This is the dramatic moment juvenile judge Tracie Hunter was roughly hauled from a US court to begin a six-month prison …
Chaos erupted inside a courtroom this week after a former judge was dramatically dragged away to begin a prison sentence.
The drama began back in 2014 when juvenile judge Tracie Hunter, from Ohio in the US, was first convicted of “having an unlawful interest in a public contract”.
In 2013, her brother Stephen Hunter, a former youth corrections officer, was set to be sacked after allegedly assaulting a young offender.
Ms Hunter was found guilty of illegally passing on confidential records about the youth to her brother in a bid to help him keep his job in 2014, WLWT reports.
She was sentenced to six months behind bars in December that year, but since then her sentence has been delayed by a number of appeals.
However, on Monday, Judge Patrick Dinkelacker upheld that sentence and ordered her prison term to begin immediately.
During the 40-minute hearing, he revealed he had been inundated with 45 letters from Ms Hunter’s supporters demanding she be let off.
The letters were sent to his personal address and seemed to be an attempt to “intimidate” the judge, Cincinnatti.com reported.
The tense courtroom, which had been filled with the ex-judge’s supporters, descended into anarchy as authorities were ordered to take Ms Hunter away.
In footage captured by news network WLWT, Ms Hunter, who is wearing a black dress and white jacket, is forcibly dragged away by a female police officer as her supporters scream abuse at authorities.
In the clip, one woman can be heard repeatedly yelling “no justice” as Ms Hunter is hauled away.
After she departs the room, a woman wearing a T-shirt printed with the words “Justice for Judge Tracie M Hunter” is then handcuffed and removed.
It’s a stunning fall from grace for the “corrupt judge”, who was the first African-American elected to Hamilton County’s Juvenile Court in 2010, according to Metro.
Over the years, she has protested her innocence, previously telling WLWT the charges were “unlawful”.
“I violated no laws, I did not secure a public contract, I did not secure employment for my brother who worked for the court for about seven years before I was elected judge,” she said.
“They need to drop these unrighteous and I believe unlawful charges against me.”
Her lawyer David Singleton claimed his client has “lost everything”, according to WLWT.
“She’s lost everything almost. She lost her job as a judge, her law licence, her ability to earn an income. She’s lost peace of mind,” he said, although special prosecutor Scott Croswell argued the situation arose because Ms Hunter wants to “play by her own set of rules”.
But according to Cincinnati.com, the biggest “twist” came later on when Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters called Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to personally ask him to commute the sentence.
It is not yet known what action, if any, Mr DeWine will take.