Maryland Judge Robert Nalley pleaded guilty Monday to ordering deputies to shock a defendant with a 50,000-volt charge. Nalley, who presided over Charles County Circuit Court, reportedly agreed to a plea deal whereby he receives a year of probation.
It's not Nalley's first trouble, either: In 2010, he pleaded guilty to tampering with a vehicle after deflating the tires of a cleaning woman's car, to punish her for parking in his space. For that, he was suspended for five days without pay.
CBS News reports that he was charged with violating the victim's rights in the July 2014 stun cuff incident. The maximum sentence is a year in jail and a fine of $100,000.
During jury selection, the defendant, reading from a prepared statement, objected to Nalley's authority to conduct the proceedings. After the man repeatedly ignored Nalley's questions and his commands to stop speaking, Nalley ordered a deputy sheriff to activate a "stun-cuff" the defendant was wearing.
"Do it. Use it," Nalley said.
The defendant stopped speaking when the deputy sheriff approached him and activated the device, which administered an electric shock for about five seconds. The defendant fell to the ground and screamed and Nalley then recessed the proceedings, according to the plea deal's statement of facts.
Ars Technica's David Kravets reports that stun cuffs are the hot new thing.
[Victim/defendant Delvon L.] King eventually agreed to serve two years after withdrawing a motion for a new trial. In that motion, he said he could not adequately represent himself out of fear of being shocked again. The authorities said King was wearing a stun cuff because they said he had fled from an earlier court proceeding.
The authorities are increasingly using stun cuffs, which are about the size of a deck of cards, at detention centers and courthouses. They are made by various companies and cost around $1,900 for a device and transmitter. Some models can shock at 80,000 volts.
The judge was banned from the bench in September 2014.
The Sept. 5 decision by the Maryland Court of Appeals came as the result of a request from the Maryland Office of the Public Defender following a report in The Baltimore Examiner Aug. 26, 2014 alleging Nalley told a deputy to use an electronic shock device on defendant Delvon Louis King in the courtroom July 23. … Nalley retired after a 2009 incident when he was found responsible for removing air from the tires of someone who parked in his space at the courthouse in La Plata.
He was reinstated as a 7th Judicial Circuit of Maryland encompassing all three Southern Maryland and Prince George's County in December of last year .