State attorney charged over SLO courtroom brawl

February 18, 2016

justice 2San Luis Obispo County prosecutors have charged a state attorney with a misdemeanor count of resisting a peace officer for her role in a courtroom wrestling match with a bailiff. California Deputy Attorney General Jennie Mariah Kelly will appear in San Luis Obispo Superior Court for an arraignment hearing Thursday morning.

On Oct. 20, the bailiff, a San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputy, wrestled Kelly to the ground of a SLO courtroom. The incident occurred during trial recess in a wrongful termination case against the California’s Men’s Colony and the Atascadero State Hospital.

The bailiff arrested Kelly for resisting or obstructing a peace officer.

During the case, Superior Court Judge Barry LaBarbera admonished Kelly several times for her courtroom demeanor. When LaBarbera called a 15 minute recess on Oct. 20, Kelly began shouting and acting in an unprofessional manner toward the opposing attorney, according to a sheriff’s office report.

In a video recording of the incident, Kelly is seen waving her pen and speaking to the opposing attorney. 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. She was then cited and released.

Attorney Kara Stein-Conway, who is representing Kelly, 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, the defense attorney said.

The sheriff’s office says Kelly refused the bailiff’s attempts to calm her.

Kelly returned to court the day following her arrest and continued defending the state. The trial ended Nov. 9 with a judgment that favored the state.


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31 Comments

  1. abigchocoholic says:

    Because most people would get maced, or clubbed, or taken down at the FIRST INDICATION they had no intention to comply with his instructions.
    —————-
    Outright lie.

    Because she was well employed,coiffed and dressed should speak more to her ability to self-regulate and comply with his orders than to the probability that he would act according to his mandate
    —————–
    Wrong. Different situations and conditions require different response.

    There is no law that states lawyers, even government ones, can blithely ignore an officer’s officially delivered instructions.
    ——————
    Blithely? Blithely means joyous or carefree. Look up the word before you use it because it doesn’t’ fit–at all. She was in the heat of a courtroom battle and in the middle of a heated conversation with the opponent and no Attorney in their right mind would expect to get thrown to the ground within 8 seconds by a deputy under those conditions and circumstances. It’s unheard of. The deputy was way over the top in his actions. It was totally unnecessary. You don’t treat lawyers in the courtroom like that, not after 8 seconds. Maybe after 5 minutes but not 8 seconds.

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  2. NorthCountyGuy says:

    Birds of a feather flock together. Attorney General, Kamala Harris, is trash.

    (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
  3. Ishmael09p says:

    Presume for a moment that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law, and that LEOs are, if not forever objective, at least of one mind when it comes to authoritarian interactions.
    If a policeman tells you to calm down, he means to be obeyed. If he attempts to take your wrists in an effort to fine tune your attention on to him and away from whatever is agitating you, he is thinking that he is doing you a favor. Because most people would get maced, or clubbed, or taken down at the FIRST INDICATION they had no intention to comply with his instructions.
    If you choose at that moment to react like a 4 year old suffering a redirection from a frustrated parent in the middle of Food for Less, you have (in the language of the parent) made a bad choice.

    There is no law that states lawyers, even government ones, can blithely ignore an officer’s officially delivered instructions.

    Because she was well employed,coiffed and dressed should speak more to her ability to self-regulate and comply with his orders than to the probability that he would act according to his mandate when she went all “get your stinking paws off me, you damned, dirty ape!” on his ass.
    In any other setting, he would have not done her the kindness of taking her wrists in an attempt to communicate to her through her temper. He would have made himself heard without thought to her attention and then used force to produce her compliance at the VERY first hint of disobedience on her part.

    You can bet that NOBODY wants to be associated with this case, and that if the DA brought charges he did so because he felt compelled to do so by some point of procedure or law that may be inobvious to those of us outside the situation. This kind of mess pleases nobody but the bored, the mean-spirited and the newspaper vendors.

    (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down

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