By Sonam Hundal, Hannah Adams, and Sophia Barberini
SACRAMENTO, CA – Courtroom drama – one involving details of a 58 mile car chase and the other punctuated by an accused’s loud outburst – occurred this week in the courtrooms of Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Ken Brody and Judge Joseph Orr.
In Judge Orr’s case, he heard that in November 2020, Ricky Taylor was arrested after he evaded law enforcement, and took them on a 58 mile pursuit where he reached speeds of up to 110 miles per hour whilst running numerous stop signs and red lights.
Once Taylor was detained, officers found a .45 caliber handgun inside his vehicle, although he was prohibited from owning firearms based on his prior convictions from August 2019 and August 2009.
Taylor agreed to plead no contest to charges of evading an officer, assault, and owning a firearm, in a rocky hearing. The defendant had a difficult time hearing the judge via Zoom due to an echo in the courtroom and was seemingly unclear as to what his plea meant.
Judge Orr made it a point to make sure the defendant was absolutely clear on what he was agreeing to and what his charges were, repeating his questioning to the defendant as clearly as possible.
Taylor, eventually, agreed to plead no contest, claiming that he had sufficient time to discuss such matters with his attorney, David Brooks.
Judge Orr, once again, ensured that the defendant understood that this meant the court would treat his plea as they would if he had plead guilty. Taylor was sentenced to seven years and four months in state prison.
Later, in another case, Matthew Johnson stood before Judge Brody for missing multiple court dates after he allegedly burglarized somebody’s home.
The defendant’s arraignment was seemingly conducting smoothly until its end when Johnson had a profanity-riddled outburst, claiming that he was being accused of burglarizing his own home.
“This is b****it I want a lawyer. You’re charging me for burglary and I didn’t even do it,” said Johnson.
Before the situation escalated any further, Judge Brody cut the live feed from the courtroom, waiting for Johnson to be escorted out of the room.
Johnson will appear before the court once again on Oct. 4.