Bailiff accused of battering state attorney
November 17, 2015
The San Luis Obispo Tribune has obtained video footage of a bailiff wrestling a female deputy attorney general to the floor of a SLO courtroom.
On Oct. 20, the bailiff, a San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputy, arrested state attorney Jennie Mariah Kelly for resisting or obstructing a peace officer. The incident occurred during trial in a wrongful termination case against the California Men’s Colony and Atascadero State Hospital.
During the case, Superior Court Judge Barry LaBarbera admonished Kelly several times about her courtroom demeanor. When LeBarbara called a 15 minute recess on Oct. 20, Kelly began shouting and acting in an unprofessional manner toward the opposing attorney, Timothy V. Magill, according to a sheriff’s office report.
In the video recording, Kelly is seen waving her pen and speaking at Magill. The bailiff then approaches Kelly, and the two begin arguing.
The bailiff appears to grab both of Kelly’s hands and hold onto them for a few seconds until Kelly jerks away. Kelly and the bailiff then struggle, and the deputy takes her to the ground.
Kelly reemerges into the video screen shortly later with her hands cuffed behind her back
The Tribune obtained the footage through a public record’s request. There is no audio in the video tape.
The district attorney’s office has not filed formal charges against Kelly, as of Monday evening. Prosecutors have not completed their investigation into the incident, though, a DA’s spokesman said.
Kelly has retained attorney Kara Stein-Conway who said the bailiff battered her client.
Stein-Conway said the incident was a gross and unjustified overreaction to lawful conduct by Kelly. The bailiff battered her, forced her to the ground and pressed her head up against a metal rail, Stein-Conway said.
The sheriff’s office says Kelly refused the bailiff’s attempt to calm her.
LaBarbera canceled court for the remainder of the day following the arrest. Kelly was back in court defending the state on the following day.
The trial ended Nov. 9 with a judgment that favored the state.