A Pasco sex offender set to go on trial Wednesday for allegedly failing to turn in an ankle bracelet he cut off had his trial canceled after he punched a hole in a wall outside the courtroom.
Jerome L. Pleasant, 22, also was seen on security footage making some "assaultive gestures" toward his attorney or the court, said Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant.
Sant brought the incident to Superior Court Judge Craig Matheson's attention Tuesday.
Pleasant was in court Tuesday morning and pleaded innocent to a new charge of failing to register as a sex offender.
Pleasant objected to the prosecutor's bail request of $15,000 and said he didn't understand why he was being held.
"If you were listening to the state, you'd know why," Matheson said after prosecutors ran down the list of Pleasant's past criminal convictions.
Pleasant apparently was not happy with the judge's decision and while being taken back to jail, he allegedly punched the wall.
Sant said the investigation into the incident is in the initial stages, but he needed to bring it to the judge's attention because Pleasant was due back in court Wednesday. Shelley Ajax was appointed to represent Pleasant in both cases, but Sant said she may now be a potential witness or victim of the threatening gestures.
Ajax told Matheson she thought it would be to Pleasant's disadvantage at trial if she remained his attorney. "I'd have him shackled during trial, shackled to a chair," she said.
Pleasant said he wasn't going to waive his speedy trial rights and objected to delaying the trial. When Matheson said he was going to allow Ajax to withdraw, Pleasant stood up and tried to walk out of court. Corrections officers and the bailiff stood in his way and forced him to stay while the hearing continued.
Matheson assigned Karla Kane to Pleasant's cases and set a hearing for Tuesday.
Pleasant again tried to ask Matheson why he was being held and the judge again told him if he paid attention, he would understand.
"I think you need to work with your attorney, whoever you get, instead of arguing with everyone," Matheson told him.
Pleasant, a Level 3 sex offender, was charged earlier this year with second-degree theft after he allegedly cut off a $1,400 ankle bracelet that was supposed to track his whereabouts.
Pleasant was charged with failing to register as a sex offender for not being at the Thunderbird Motel, where he told Franklin County sheriff's officials that he was staying, documents said.
-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; firstname.lastname@example.org