Michigan Man Caught Attending Zoom Court From Home of Alleged Victim Who Had Restraining Order Against Him
Mary Lindsey seemed unsettled and reluctant to answer any questions when assistant district attorney, Deborah Davis started questioning her, a report said.
A Michigan man charged with domestic violence was nabbed by cops after a judge realized the man was attending a Zoom hearing in the same apartment of the girlfriend who had a restraining order against him, FOX News reported.
Coby James Harris, 21, of Sturgis, was charged with assault in connection to a Feb. 9 argument with his girlfriend, Mary Lindsey, officials said. The pair were slated to attend a hearing March 2 over video, over which Judge Jeffrey Middleton was presiding. Harris was out on bond, a release which included the condition that he was not to contact Lindsey.
Lindsey appeared frightened during the virtual hearing as she spoke from her Sturgis home, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Deborah Davis first said, KIRO 7 reported. She appeared reluctant to answer any questions and unable to explain why she called the police on Harris, according to Davis.
At the same time, Harris appeared to hit a button on his phone and his screen went black.
“Your Honor,” Davis said during the hearing, which was streamed on the judge's YouTube channel. “I have reason to believe that the defendant is in the same apartment as the complaining witness right now, and I am extremely scared for her safety. The fact that she’s looking off to the side and he’s moving around, I want some confirmation that she is safe before we continue.”
The judge followed up by asking both the alleged victim and the defendant where they each were.
The judge had to ask the question twice before Lindsey told the judge she was at her home. When he asked Harris, he gave a different address
The judge then asked Harris to walk outside of the house with his phone and show him the house number. When Harris told the judge his phone didn’t have enough charge, the police knocked on the door.
As a cigarette hung out of his mouth, Harris quickly apologized to the judge, admitting that he lied to him and said that he and Lindsey no longer want the no-contract order in place.
"Mr. Harris, I advise, don't say anything else," the judge replied. "Take the cigarette out of your mouth. The hearing is adjourned.
"This is an issue we didn’t have when we were at live court," Middleton said. “This is the first time, to my knowledge, if he is in the same venue, that this has occurred. Kudos to the Sturgis police department for following up on this.
"It’s the first time I ever had anybody sitting in the next room potentially intimidating a witness," Middleton continued.
Harris may face additional charges. Harris was already facing 10 years in prison if he was found guilty of the original charges, FOX reported.
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