A former Ohio judge who was sentenced to six months behind bars after being convicted of a felony related to her brother landing a court job was dragged from a courtroom on Monday as she protested her sentence.
The 52-year-old former judge, Tracie Hunter, went limp after she heard her sentenced and was dragged backwards out of the courtroom.
Hunter had earlier been convicted of a felony count of unlawful interest in a public contract in 2014, and given the six month sentence. The case was linked to an incident in which the Associated Press reports Hunter shared a confidential document with her brother who faced a disciplinary hearing in his government job. Her attorney maintains she did nothing illegal, yet she was convicted and her appeals denied.
The sentence was delayed to allow for Hunter’s appeal, but she ended up losing, which prompted Monday’s hearing.
Supporters wearing t-shirts bearing the ex-judge’s name screamed out after the sentence was handed down. When deputies approached Hunter to remove her from the courtroom, she went limp and was dragged out of court.
Hunter’s attorney David Singleton told ABC News said that Hunter has “suffered immensely as a result” of the case, including having her law license revoked and losing her job after she was indicted, and that she maintains her innocence.
“She can’t be remorseful for something she didn’t do,” Singleton said. “We’re not going to give up on overturning her conviction and getting her out of jail as soon as possible.”
The prosecutor in the case, Joe Deters, wrote a letter to the judge saying that Hunter “has been incredibly disrespectful to you and the justice system,” the AP reported.
Hunter, a Democrat, ran for election as a juvenile court judge in 2010, but the close election was not decided for about 18 months, which delayed her assuming the role.
“She won a very hotly contested election over her Republican opponent,” her lawyer said. “Part of what happened in this case… it’s racially charged. She was the first African American woman to get elected to be on the juvenile court bench. She was fearless in the positions she took, and she found herself on the wrong side of the political establishment in Hamilton County… she pissed people off,” he said.