The County just released body camera video from Cuyahoga Sheriff’s Department deputies. It shows how multiple deputies had to jump in to control a 15-year-old girl.
Last month, the girl attended the sentencing for Robert Houchens, a teen who’d plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Cuyahoga County Prosecutors had his case handled in adult court.
Investigators say Houchens met a man in the bathroom of a Cleveland Public Library for a suspected drug deal. That led to gunfire.
We’ve learned, at sentencing, the teen girl walked up to the podium to speak to the judge and she lunged over a table at Houchens as he sat there in handcuffs. We’re told the girl is a relative of the victim.
Video shows chaos immediately after the incident began. Deputies then put the teen in handcuffs and lead her out of the courtroom.
That incident became just the latest violent outburst in Cuyahoga County Court.
Last year, in the same courtroom, deputy body camera video captured another vicious attack. A man didn’t like his sentence, so he attacked his attorney. He ended up facing more charges for that.
The I-TEAM has also found rage in a hearing not even held in a courtroom. Many hearings these days get held by computer hook-up from jail due to COVID-19. But, one guy got mad when he found out he was going to prison for violating probation. So, he smashed the computer. Got a little more time for that.
In the latest case, Judge Nancy Margaret Russo sentenced Robert Houchens to 14-19 years in prison for the killing and more. Paul Sender will do 4 years in prison for his role in the case.
The video shows deputies taking the teen girl down a long hallway after the courtroom attack. Investigators have followed up on the case. They will take it to a juvenile prosecutor to consider charges for lunging over the table. Another incident putting a spotlight on safety in courtrooms, a growing concern at the very heart of justice.