Prosecutor Held In Contempt After Courtroom Outburst
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A veteran Philadelphia homicide prosecutor was taken into custody briefly yesterday after he told the judge in a murder trial she could hold him in contempt. Attorneys in the case were arguing pre-trial motions at the time.
Assistant District Attorney Richard Sax was clearly frustrated with what he later termed nasty comments or attempts to be comical by the defense, specifically attorney Joseph Santaguida. At one point, according to the court record, Sax said, in part, “I am going to leave this courtroom. You can hold me in contempt.”
And Judge Gwendolyn Bright ordered sheriffs to take him to the cell room, adjacent the courtroom, where defendants Sax prosecutes are normally held.
Later, allowed back in the courtroom, Sax said he meant no disrespect to the court. And Judge Bright, calling his actions off the charts, told Sax she is still considering a contempt finding, but it will depend on his future conduct.
Reported by Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio 1060