CLEVELAND — A local inmate made national headlines when exclusive Fox 8 video showed him getting his mouth taped shut in court, and now he is speaking out to the Fox 8 I-Team with plenty to say from behind bars.
Franklyn Williams said, “So when they put the tape on my mouth I just felt, I felt so humiliated.”
He added, “I just felt like wow it’s abuse of discretion in the courtroom.”
The video has sparked reaction nationwide.
Franklyn Williams had been convicted for armed robberies and more even though he disappeared at trial.
Then, at sentencing Tuesday, Judge John Russo ordered deputies to tape his mouth shut after the Judge grew frustrated because Williams wouldn’t shut up.
Williams called the I-Team from jail, and he said he still hears in his head the sound of the tape ripping.
He is now beginning to serve a sentence of 24 years for armed robberies and more.
We had to ask why didn’t he just shut up?
He answered, “Cause the judge would not allow me to say the things that I was trying to say on record. He would always stop me before I was able to explain anything on my behalf.”
Williams said he wanted to bring up injustices he believes he’s suffered in jail and as the cases have moved forward.
You should know, on that jailhouse phone call, the I-Team listened, but we also challenged Franklyn Williams on other points.
The Court says he disappeared during his trial. He says he doesn`t even remember a trial. But does he really expect people to believe that?
Williams responded, “Yes, sir. I was hit in the head, and I didn’t receive no medical treatment. I lost my mind. I lost my memory. I don’t even remember me going to a trial. That’s what I was trying to tell them.”
The I-Team showed you in December, Williams got convicted even though he went on the run in the middle of trial.
Judge John Russo said he was justified in ordering the use of the tape because Williams showed disrespect for the system and parties involved.
Many Fox 8 viewers have responded to our stories with support for the Judge.
Williams clearly never expected what happened in court.
He added, “And I was so concerned about if my children seen this, and my family seen this. I feel that my constitutional right of freedom of speech has been violated.”
Williams plans to appeal based, at least in part, on what happened in court. He also believes his lawyers should have done more to speak up for him.
**Watch Ed’s report, above, for more; read more at this link**