Ex-Maryland judge pleads guilty to ordering defendant shocked in court

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 01, 2016 5:10 PM

(Reuters) - A former Maryland state judge pleaded guilty on Monday to ordering a deputy sheriff to activate a stun cuff on a defendant during a court hearing, federal prosecutors said.

The defendant fell to the floor screaming in pain after the electrical charge ordered by then Charles County Circuit Court Judge Robert Nalley, Jr in July 2014, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Maryland said.

Nalley, 72, pleaded guilty to deprivation of rights under color of law, and sentencing is scheduled for March. He faces up to a year in prison followed by a year of supervised release, and a fine of up to $100,000.

During a pretrial hearing in July 2014, the victim read a statement in which he objected to Nalley's authority to oversee the proceedings, the statement said.

The man twice ignored Nalley's orders to stop reading the statement. Nalley ordered the deputy sheriff to activate the stun cuff, which delivered an electrical jolt for about five seconds.

Nalley then recessed the hearing. The Maryland Court of Appeals removed him from the bench in September 2014.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson, editing by G Crosse)