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Pa. man's bond revoked after alleged courtroom outburst

September 16, 1999|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Within minutes of being convicted for resisting arrest Thursday, a Greencastle, Pa., man had his bond revoked after a judge said he damaged a Franklin County courtroom and scuffled with police.

A jury had just convicted Jeremy L. Sipes, 20, of 3814 Grosh Drive, of resisting arrest in an April 6 incident at his home. After the verdict was announced, Sipes, who was out on bail, became upset, according to witnesses.

"He became agitated and stormed out of the courtroom," Pennsylvania State Trooper Eugene Covington said at a bond revocation hearing held about an hour after the incident.

Covington, who was one of the officers Sipes was charged with resisting at his home, said the man slammed the swinging wooden gate in the courtroom, causing it to break.

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"The judge, after he did it, told the state troopers in the courtroom 'I want him arrested for criminal mischief,'" said Public Defender Robert J. Trambley, Sipe's attorney in the trial.

At the bond revocation hearing, Covington said he and Trooper James Johnston followed the man from the courtroom and told him he was under arrest. Covington said they had to subdue him by pinning him against a wall in the corridor. Sheriff's deputies also helped take him into custody.

Sipes was taken before Judge John R. Walker for the revocation hearing on his $10,000 bond. "The reason for the request is his failure to refrain from criminal activity," Assistant District Attorney T.R. Williams told Walker.

As Covington was testifying before Walker, Sipes uttered an audible profanity.

"Order of the court. ... Bond is revoked," Walker said immediately.

Thursday's trial was held before Judge Douglas W. Herman. Trambley said the jury took about half an hour to reach a verdict.

Sipes is scheduled for sentencing on the resisting arrest conviction on Wednesday, Nov. 10. He faces a maximum of two years in prison. The affidavit of probable cause in that case said police were called to his home for a domestic dispute.

Police said he yelled obscenities and refused to stop. When they tried to arrest him he resisted being handcuffed by grabbing onto a weight bench, leading to a struggle, according to court files.

Johnston said Wednesday night that no charges had been filed against Sipes for the incident following the verdict.

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