Brooklyn man gets 3 years for threatening judge another city man convicted of assaulting witness

December 11, 1996|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,SUN STAFF

Notice: Threatening and assaulting judges and witnesses in Baltimore County courtrooms will not be taken lightly, as two Baltimore men -- who did just that this year -- found out yesterday.

In one case, a Brooklyn man was given a three-year sentence for shouting threats at a county circuit judge in April. In another, a Baltimore man who punched his former girlfriend in an Essex courtroom in August was convicted of assault and could be sentenced to a decade in prison.

"These are not run-of-the-mill cases, I'll tell you that," said Assistant State's Attorney Andrew I. Alperstein, who prosecuted the first case and helped on the other.

Yesterday in Towson District Court, Alperstein handled the case of Michael Wayne Saddler, 41, of the 800 block of Jeffrey St., who has a history of drug abuse.

On April 1, Saddler had appeared without a lawyer before county Circuit Judge John O. Hennegan for violating probation. He insisted the matter had been taken care of in District Court, but when Hennegan said that wasn't so, Saddler became angry.

In a loud, rapid voice, he yelled curses at the judge and threatened him, according to the transcript and trial testimony. "I will get you, you hear?" he shouted.

Hennegan said of Saddler's outburst, "That was the first time it's ever happened to me. It concerned me, and I was concerned about order [in] the courtroom."

Saddler testified yesterday that he has to take medicine to control his mood swings and the voices he hears, but that April 1 "I didn't have my medication."

Saddler's attorney, Jerome W. Taylor argued that his mental health made him not criminally responsible, but District Judge Barbara R. Jung found him guilty of threatening a state official and gave him a three-year sentence.

Also yesterday Gregory Kevin Maddox, 36, was in county Circuit Court facing an assault charge of punching his ex-girlfriend in Essex District Court on Aug. 13.

The 36-year-old victim, who asked that her name not be used, had gone to court that afternoon to testify against Maddox in a hearing that would determine whether his bail would be revoked on a domestic violence matter.

District Judge Darryl G. Fletcher revoked Maddox's bail, and as a sheriff's deputy was leading him from the courtroom, he broke away from the deputy. "Mr. Maddox hit me and knocked me to the floor," the victim alleged in charging documents.

When Maddox entered the courtroom yesterday without ankle shackles and carrying a Bible, the victim, visibly shaken, began to cry. When Assistant State's Attorney Steven I. Kroll asked her to sit at the prosecution table -- a few feet from Maddox -- she yelled "No! No!"

After hearing a written recitation of events, Judge John Grason Turnbull II found Maddox guilty.

Pub Date: 12/11/96

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