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Judge Orders Defendant's Mouth Taped Shut

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Associated Press: An eastern Idaho judge who lost patience with the disruptive behavior of a defendant ordered court officials to tape the man's mouth shut with duct tape during a court hearing. The unusual move was ordered by 6th District Judge Peter D. McDermott during a probation violation hearing for Nicklas Frasure, 23.

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Frasure was convicted of felony theft in 2008, but the judge retained jurisdiction for sentencing depending on Frasure's response to treatment. In October, Frasure was released from a state mental hospital in Blackfoot.

He is accused of violating his probation by not taking prescribed medication.

During the hearing, witnesses told the judge that Frasure's behavior had been strange and erratic since his release from the state hospital. They also said he has not been taking his medication and has been consuming alcohol, factors also contributing to mood and emotional swings.

Probation officer Julie Guiberson testified that Frasure is a threat to himself and others.

During Monday's hearing, Frasure interrupted the proceedings with repeated verbal outbursts and unusual behavior and ignored several orders from McDermott to restrain himself. After another series of outbursts, McDermott told bailiffs to silence Frasure.

The bailiffs then found a roll of duct tape, tore off a piece and put it over Frasure's mouth, according to the Idaho State Journal.

"He's obviously not mentally competent," Frasure's lawyer Kent Reynolds told the judge.

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1 comments so far | Post a comment now
Heiddi April 22, 2009, 7:04 PM

Okay, so the guy has mental health issues. So he gets his mouth ducttaped? Hello!!!??? How is anyone with mental health issues going to get well with tape put over his or her mouth? Treatment of mentally ill persons should be left to the professionals - mental health counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc. And if the individual is not competent to stand trial, where was his psychiatrist and lawyer that they weren’t there to advocate for their client. The judge should at least be educated on the protocol for dealing with mentally ill patients.


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